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Apple’s battle with Fortnite Maker Epic Games escalates as lawsuit disputes 30% commission on App Store

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Topline

Apple plans to argue that it faces stiff competition in the video game market and that gamers would suffer if Fortnite developer Epic Games succeeds in its legal battle to overturn Apple’s App Store policies, according to reports. Court documents filed by the company on Thursday, reiterating accusations that the lawsuit is part of a carefully curated public relations campaign to rekindle interest in Fortnite.

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Highlights

Apple unveiled its plan to attack Epic in documents submitted to a California federal court Thursday ahead of a jury-less trial in early May, resisting allegations of anti-competitive behavior by arguing that the 30% tax it imposes on developers is the industry standard.

The argument rejects Epic’s claim that the more than one billion iPhone users, who must use the App Store to install software, are an independent market over which Apple has control, claiming that gamers and developers have the option to use games on multiple platforms.

Although Apple’s 30% commission on App Store sales is taken through the App Store, Apple said players have the option of purchasing in-game items on other platforms at use on the platform.

Apple also said that the billions of dollars spent to develop the infrastructure that underpins the App Store justifies its costs, adding that Epic had “greatly benefited” from the arrangement and had earned more than $ 700 million from its costs. users during the two years that the popular Fortnite game was available on the store.

The tech giant has also slammed the flashy public relations campaign Epic launched with the lawsuit, known internally as Project Liberty and portrayed the company as an outsider fighting Apple’s oppression.

Key context

The outcome of this lawsuit could determine the future of the digital marketplace and is part of a litany of investigations and lawsuits questioning the reach of big tech. Apple, and in particular its role as the guardian of what apps can appear on its devices, has come under increasing regulatory scrutiny and criticism from developers and competition watchdogs around the world. . The European Commission, for example, has opened four antitrust investigations into Apple, three of which involve the App Store. Epic has been spearheading private sector opposition to Apple’s practices, which is now part of a larger movement of tech companies including Spotify, Match Group and Tile.

Further reading

Fortnite maker Tim Sweeney calls cutbacks in Apple revenue and competitive practices ‘absolutely heinous’ (protocol)

Major US Media Join Coalition to Challenge 30% Apple App Store Fee (UKTN)

Apple says Epic’s lawsuit is really an effort to rekindle ‘waning interest’ in Fortnite (CNET)

Apple reveals line of attack in App Store lawsuit against Epic (Bloomberg)

Apple claims it faces competition in the video game market in Epic lawsuit (Reuters)

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