Fortnite maker sues Apple and Google after game is removed from app stores
It says Google and Apple have created a monopoly.
Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, is suing Apple and Google after the tech giants removed the popular game from their app stores on Thursday.
Fortnite was dropped from both the Google Play Store and iOS App Store due to a dispute over in-app payment guidelines.
Epic implemented its own payment processing system into the iOS and Android versions of the game which would circumvent Apple's and Google's payment systems.
Essentially, this means that Apple and Google alleged Epic Games beached their guidelines by announcing a way for players to buy in-game currency without using Apple and Google's proprietary payment systems.
This would mean that both tech giants would miss out on the take of up to 30% they would get from purchases within the app.
Apple was the first to remove the game on Thursday with Google following suit soon after, which led to Epic Games filing lawsuits against the pair.
Epic’s complaint against Google alleges that its payment restrictions on the Play Store constitute a monopoly, and thus are a violation of both the Sherman Act and California’s Cartwright Act.
The complaint against Apple seeks to establish Apple’s App Store as a monopoly, and the civil suit is seeking injunctive relief to “allow fair competition” in mobile app distribution.
Epic is not seeking money from Apple or Google, but is rather looking for injunctions that bring the many of the companies' practices related to their app stores to an end.
While Epic's case against Apple is more clear-cut, there's some added complexity to the Google lawsuit given that while Google controls the Play Store and is by far the most popular method of downloading apps and games, other Android app stores still stock the Fortnite game in their galleries.
Apps can also be downloaded through direct links that don't require the Play Store and this was the method used to download Fortnite for years, although this changed in April when the game finally arrived on the Play Store.
However, Epic has been bullish in its approach so far, going as far as launching a parody of Apple's famous 1984 ad and calling on users to ask Apple for a refund if they lose access to the game.
Clip via Fortnite
It also drew inspiration from Google's "Don't Be Evil" slogan as it hurled the motto back at the tech company, and accused it of relegating "its motto to nearly an afterthought".
Epic also received backing from Spotify, which recently filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in Europe.
"Apple’s unfair practices have disadvantaged competitors and deprived consumers for far too long," Spotify said.