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Thursday, October 15, 2020

The legal battle between Epic Games and Apple is bogged down

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Epic Games criticizes Apple for levying an excessively high “tax” (30%) on consumer transactions made through the App Store.

Epic Games failed to convince a California judge on Monday to force Apple to reinstall its Fortnite game on the App Store, and the dispute between the two groups is heading towards a trial next summer.

The publisher of the popular survival shooter has embarked on a battle against the electronics and tech giant, whose practices it deems “tyrannical” on iOS, its mobile operating system. Epic Games criticizes Apple for levying an excessively high “tax” (30%) on consumer transactions made through the App Store.

In August, the publisher attempted to bypass iOS’ payment system, and therefore commissions. Apple immediately banned Fortnite from its store, so iPhone and iPad users can no longer download the game, or, if they already have it, they no longer have access to essential updates, it’s proper functioning.

A possible trial in July 2021

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers had already validated this measure from Apple, considering that there was clearly a breach of the contract, and did not reverse her decision on Monday at a new hearing in California. She estimated that the lawsuit filed by Epic Games could take place in July 2021.

Apple has explained on numerous occasions that this commission, which is an industry-standard level, is used to keep the App Store running smoothly and user safety. But Epic Games is no longer alone in this crusade and has allied with a dozen companies, including Deezer and Spotify. Gathered under the banner “Coalition for App Fairness”, they want to change the regulations on app stores.

They accuse the operators of mobile platforms – mainly Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) – of being both judges and parties and of crushing the competition by promoting their own products. The way Android works, however, allows users to get apps from other download platforms. Fortnite is no longer available on the Google Play Store, but users running Android (Google’s operating system) can still access it through other sites.

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