Game developer and publisher Epic Games has filed a lawsuit against Apple following the removal of the iOS version of its battle royale game Fortnite from the App Store earlier today.
The legal complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, seeks to establish Apple’s App Store as a monopoly, and the civil suit is seeking injunctive relief to “allow fair competition” in mobile app distribution. Epic effectively provoked Apple’s removal of Fortnite earlier today when it implemented its own payment processing system into the iOS version of the battle royale hit, an apparent violation of Apple’s App Store guidelines.
“Epic brings this suit to end Apple’s unfair and anti-competitive actions that Apple undertakes to unlawfully maintain its monopoly in two distinct, multibillion dollar markets: (i) the iOS App Distribution Market, and (ii) the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market(each as defined below),” the complaint reads.
“Epic is not seeking monetary compensation from this Court for the injuries it has suffered. Nor is Epic seeking favorable treatment for itself, a single company. Instead, Epic is seeking injunctive relief to allow fair competition in these two key markets that directly affect hundreds of millions of consumers and tens of thousands, if not more, of third-party app developers.”
Epic is alleging Apple has a monopoly in the form of the iPhone, the iOS ecosystem, and the App Store that binds them together, and that Apple places unreasonable restrictions on the distribution of iOS apps — again, the only way to get software onto the iPhone (or iPad). The complaint is also alleging Apple places unreasonable restrictions on payment processing within iOS apps.
Epic doesn’t take issue with the fact that Apple requires developers to use the App Store. Rather, the game studio thinks it’s unfair Apple requires you to use its payment methods, which thereby gives Apple 30 percent of all in-app revenue on the digital goods that make up the entirety of Fortnite’s business model.