‘Fortnite’ maker Epic takes its Apple battle to Brussels

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Epic Games, the developer of the popular game “Fortnite” and one of the world’s largest video game companies, said on Wednesday that it had filed an antitrust complaint against Apple AAPL, -1.61% with the European Commission. The lawsuit alleges that the Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker “has not only harmed but completely eliminated competition” in the distribution and payments of applications on its popular App Store, with “a series of carefully designed anti-competitive restrictions. “. The two companies have been involved in a legal fight since August 2020, when Apple kicked “Fortnite” out of the store and revoked Epic’s developer license after the game maker found a way to circumvent the 30% fee. imposed on App Store sellers. Apple alleges that Epic acted “with the express intention of violating guidelines that apply equally to all developers.” The two companies are heading to a trial in the United States in May. Epic said it is not seeking damages in its European Union filing, but is asking the Commission to impose “timely and effective remedies.” From the Archives (Dec 2020): Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon Could Face Multi-million Dollar Fines Under New EU Tech Regulations

The outlook: before the Epic complaint, Brussels had already launched, in June 2020, a formal investigation into the App Store, in particular its purchasing system. The Commission said it wanted to “ensure that Apple’s rules do not distort competition in markets where Apple competes with other application developers.” The EU investigation will be independent of the US court case. But the trial before a California court, in which Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to testify for seven hours, will give a good idea of ​​the legal arguments developed in the case. Read: Regulator Opposes Sale of eBay Division for $ 9.2 Billion in Latest Move to Protect Online Competition