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Epic Games, the developers of Fortnite, have filed a lawsuit against Apple and Google due to the removal of the popular online video game of both companies to their app stores on Thursday.
While accessible on a broad spectrum of devices including Android, Windows and consoles, and iPhones, Fortnite, with over 125 million users in its first year of release, and produced up to 350 million registered players have been labeled as ‘a global cultural phenomenon.’
Apple emphasized in its statement that the launching of the payment feature caused the removal of Fortnite in the App Store.
“Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines, we will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store.”Apple’s Statement
Epic Games expressed its response by launching an antitrust lawsuit. The legal filing resembled to have been prepared before Apple discharge, according to CNBC.
As stated in the Epic Games 62-page antitrust lawsuit, Apple’s removal of Fortnite is a different example of Apple bestowing its immense power to “impose unreasonable restraints and unlawfully maintain its 100% monopoly over the market for in-app payments on iPhones.”
“Rather than tolerate this healthy competition and compete on the merits of its offering, Apple responded by removing Fortnite from sale on the App Store, which means that new users cannot download the app, and users who have already downloaded prior versions of the app from the App Store cannot update it to the latest version..Furthermore, when making mobile device purchases, consumers are either unaware of, or cannot adequately account for, Apple’s anticompetitive conduct in the downstream app distribution and payment processing markets.”Epic Games
It was also stated that Apple’s ‘anticompetitive conduct’ directly harms the Epic and Fornite’s users. Still, Epic would provide a competing app store on iOS devices that regards Apple’s illegal restraints.
The recent rift between technology giant Apple and gaming developer Epic adds to the long list of the saga that Apple’s App Store policies have dealt with. Epic Games have recently hit out on Apple’s 30 percent cut of digital sales. Its approval process that enables removing apps from the store is also affected.
Meanwhile, users would receive a 20% discount on in-game currency if the payment is sent to the Epic Games directly, rather than those who are paying through App Store or Google Play. The app has published a button that would redirect the user card information into the Epic Games system.