Epic Games brings its "Free Fortnite" battle to European shores with a new EC antitrust complaint
Today, (February 17, 2021) Epic Games has announced the submission of its antitrust complaint against Apple with the EC. It joins similar actions filed with analogous bodies in the US, UK and Australian jurisdiction, and outlines the studio's by-now well-publicized issues with Apple's business practices as it relates to gathering its 30% cut of all app revenue on iOS' App Store.
More specifically, Epic Games maintains that Apple's machinations suppress competition and consumer choice with respect to app purchases. Speaking in conjunction with this new announcement, Epic's founder and CEO Tim Sweeney also stated that: “...developers have the right to compete in a fair marketplace. We will not stand idly by and allow Apple to use its platform dominance to control what should be a level digital playing field."
Sweeney also alleges that customers "are paying inflated prices due to the complete lack of competition among stores and in-app payment processing", whereas developers have "livelihoods [that] often hinge on Apple’s complete discretion as to who to allow on the iOS platform, and on which terms".
Therefore, the Cupertino giant may now face 2 nearly identical antitrust investigations on the part of the EC, the first of which began in June 2020 in response to a very similar complaint from the music-streaming firm Spotify.