The ‘Epic’ Battle: Fortnite Vs Apple and Google
The legal fight between Apple Inc and Fortnite maker Epic Games does not seem to cool down any sooner.
The battle started when online game Fortnite released an updated version in August where it introduced a new direct payment option with a discount on both iOS and Android. The in-game currency offered the option to buy via ‘Epic direct payment,’ a route that offered a 20% discount.
Why the discount? The players would have had to continue paying the regular price if they had to buy the currency through the Play Store or App Store as Google and Apple take a 30% cut of every single transaction for digital goods and services.
Epic Games had said that there have been no savings if players use Apple and Google payment options, where Apple and Google collect an exorbitant 30% fee on all payments. If Apple and Google lower their fees on payments, Epic will pass along the savings to players.
The gaming app was removed from both Apple’s app store and Google Play for violating the rules.
Soon after the removal, Fortnite maker Epic Games filed separate antitrust lawsuits against the two companies in the U.S. Federal Court.
Epic Games Vs Apple escalated more than Vs Google. Epic claimed that Apple’s payment system is anticompetitive and monopolistic. Apple countered by stating that Epic did not comply with the App Store’s payment policy.
Epic also encouraged Fortnite players to fight against Apple’s ‘app tax’ by using the hashtag #FreeFortnite on social platforms. Spotify also sided with Epic Games stand against Apple. Due to the legal battle, Fortnite’s upcoming season will not be available in the App Store. The users will also not be allowed to sign into Epic Games account using ‘Sign in with Apple’, Epic said.
Both Epic Games and Apple have been sniping at each other in legal filings until Monday (Sept 28) when they had to present themselves to the court.
Google also broke its silence on September 28 as it finally started to get involved in its way. It said in a blog post that — ‘Even if a developer and Google do not agree on business terms the developer can still distribute on the Android platform. This is why Fortnite, for example, is available directly from Epic’s store or from other app stores including Samsung’s Galaxy App store.’
However the Fortnite Vs Apple battle continues,
A federal judge on Monday upheld the ban on Fortnite from the app store which means that the game is staying off the App Store for the time being. The judge stated that despite everything, the Fortnite maker had lied and breached the iOS app store’s policies. The judge suggested the antitrust case to go to the jury. The full case is expected to be heard in July 2021.
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