Epic Games Sues Apple in Australian Federal Court Over Fortnite

Epic Games Sues Apple in Australian Federal Court Over Fortnite

Epic Games has expanded its fight against Apple on a new continent this week. The game developer has filed a lawsuit against the iPhone maker in the Australian Federal Court related to the removal of its battle royale game Fortnite, alleging that the company is engaging in monopolistic behavior, misusing its market power, and diminishing competition in app development. 

The new lawsuit stems from Apple’s removal of Fortnite from the Apple App Store for iOS devices in August over Epic adding its own payment system into the game to sell in-game items directly to customers.

“Apple’s conduct has forced Epic and other app developers to pay Apple monopoly prices [the 30% commission] in connection with all in-app purchases of their in-app content on iOS devices,” the court filing says. It goes on to say that this pricing has led to increased costs for Australian consumers and lost profits for Epic and other app makers.

Epic is citing section 46 of Australia’s Competition and Consumer Act, which was added in 2017 after a review of the law by the government. Section 46 prohibits “a firm with a substantial degree of market power from engaging in conduct that has the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.” The law is enforced by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission.

Epic’s legal fight with Apple in the U.S. over Fortnite is well underway, with a bench trial set for May 3, 2020. Epic is also suing Google for the same reasons, but a tentative trial date has not been set.

Last week a federal judge rejected a majority of Apple’s counterclaims in the U.S. case, except one: breach of contract. 

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