Fortnite: Epic files new injunction against Apple

BBC Technology 18 Aug 2020 12:25
By Zoe Kleinman Technology reporter, BBC News
Epic video screengrabImage copyright Epic/Fortnite

Fortnite-maker Epic Games has filed a fresh injunction against Apple in its continuing dispute with the technology giant over its App Store policy.

Apple removed Fortnite from the store after the game offered a discount on its virtual currency for purchases made outside of the app, from which Apple receives a 30% cut.

Epic says the fee is unfair.

And now, it says, Apple has threatened to remove it from its developer programme, on 28 August.

This would leave it unable to offer any other games or apps on Apple platforms.

Offering in-app purchasing only is a condition of being on both Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store - and both companies take the same percentage of sales.

After circumventing the rule, Fortnite was removed from both stores last week. It has filed separate legal complaints against them.

New players cannot download it.

The ban would also include its Unreal Engine, a popular graphics tool widely used by third-party developers of other games, films and virtual reality - meaning they too would have to find an alternative tool.

In a statement, Apple said the rules applied to every app in the store and Epic had created the problem for itself by choosing to break the terms.

Epic accused Apple of operating "a complete monopoly" over the one billion users of its operating system, which underpins all Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad and Macbook.

Epic is not the first developer to take issue with the App Store's fee structure, although it is perhaps the biggest.

"If we don't like the deal Apple is offering us - which is to either pay them 30% or get kicked out - what are we going to do about that? Where are we going to go?" developer David Heinemeier Hansson told BBC News at the time.

The EU is investigating whether Apple's App Store conditions violate its competition rules.

They all faced claims they had abused their market-leading positions.

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AppleEpicApp StoreGoogleDavid Heinemeier Hansson
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