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Fortnite ban: Apple, Google face lawsuit over app removal

To recall, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after the latter introduced the ‘Epic direct payment’ feature to allow players on both iOS and Android platforms to save up to 20 percent in-app purchases. Announcing the 20 percent discount feature, Epic Games on Thursday said that currently, when using Apple and Google payment options, they collect a 30 percent fee, and the up to 20 percent price drop does not apply. 

Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 14-08-2020 13:54 IST | Created: 14-08-2020 09:34 IST
Fortnite ban: Apple, Google face lawsuit over app removal
Image Credit: Twitter (@FortniteGame)

Hours after Apple and Google took down Fortnite from the App Store and Play Store respectively, the game developer Epic Games has filed a lawsuit against both the companies, seeking relief to end their unfair and anti-competitive restrictions on mobile device marketplaces that they undertake to unlawfully maintain their monopoly.

"Epic is not seeking monetary compensation from this Court for the injuries it has suffered. Nor is Epic seeking favorable treatment for itself, a single company. Instead, Epic is seeking injunctive relief to allow fair competition in these two key markets that directly affect hundreds of millions of consumers and tens of thousands, if not more, of third-party app developers," says the lawsuit filed against Apple.

"Epic has approached Apple and asked to negotiate relief that would stop Apple's unlawful and unreasonable restrictions. Epic also has publicly advocated that Apple cease the anti-competitive conduct addressed in this Complaint. Apple has refused to let go of its stranglehold on the iOS ecosystem," adds the lawsuit.

In a similar lawsuit filed against Google, Epic Games alleges that Google has deliberately and systematically closed the Android ecosystem to competition and its anti-competitive conduct has now been condemned by regulators the world over.

"Epic seeks to end Google's unfair, monopolistic, and anticompetitive actions in each of these markets, which harm device makers, app developers, app distributors, payment processors, and consumers. Epic does not seek monetary compensation from this Court for the injuries it has suffered. Epic likewise does not seek a side deal or favorable treatment from Google for itself. Instead, Epic seeks injunctive relief that would deliver Google's broken promise: an open, competitive Android ecosystem for all users and industry participants. Such injunctive relief is sorely needed," says the lawsuit filed against Google.

To recall, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after the latter introduced the 'Epic direct payment' feature to allow players on both iOS and Android platforms to save up to 20 percent in-app purchases. Announcing the 20 percent discount feature, Epic Games on Thursday said that currently, when using Apple and Google payment options, they collect a 30 percent fee, and the up to 20 percent price drop does not apply.

In retaliation, Apple removed the app and instructed Epic to remove the direct payment feature, saying that Epic Games has violated the App Store guidelines that are designed to keep the store safe for users and are applied equally to every developer, further adding that it will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so that they can return the game back to the store.

Epic Games has declared an open war against Apple and Google. In a statement issued late Thursday, Epic said, "Apple is keeping prices high so they can collect 30% of your payments, and is blocking Fortnite in order to prevent Epic from passing on the savings from direct payments to you." It further asked players to join the fight against App Store on social media with #FreeFortnite.


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