Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle With Apple Blocked in the UK

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Epic Games will have to continue its legal battle royale with Apple in the United States.

Epic Games has suffered a setback in its ongoing legal battle with Apple over the removal of Fortnite from the app store last year. Epic took their case to the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the UK’s antitrust judiciary, hoping the removal of Fortnite would be deemed unlawful.

What was the Epic Games vs. Apple ruling?

The tribunal has ruled on Monday that the U.S., where Epic has also pursued legal action against Apple, would be a more appropriate venue for its case to be heard. However, Epic Games will be allowed to continue pursuing Google, which also removed Fortnite from its app store last year, in the UK.

Although Epic’s case against Google is similar, Google has argued the two cases should not be connected because Android users can install multiple app stores on their devices, while Apple only allow apps to be distributed through its own store. That distinction could explain why the case against Google will be allowed to move forward in the UK.

What have Epic Games said?

According to the Press Association, a spokesperson for Epic, which also lodged antitrust complaints against Apple in the European Union and Australia earlier in February, said: “We are unwavering in our commitment to stopping Apple and Google’s anti-competitive practices and will continue to fight for fairer app distribution globally.”

The company added that it was “pleased” to be able to continue its pursuit of Google in the UK, while it will “reconsider” doing so against Apple once its case in the United States has been resolved.

Why did Apple remove Fortnite from the app store?

Epic launched their legal battle with Apple and Google after they both removed Fortnite from their respective app stores last year. The removal came after Epic introduced a new payment option in Fortnite that enabled players to make in-app purchases directly from Epic, bypassing the hefty commission that would be paid to Apple and Google on microtransactions made using their systems. Apple and Google take up to a 30% cut of each purchase made on their app stores. In November, Apple cut their commission in half for smaller developers that make less than $1 million per year on the app store, but that would not apply to a behemoth like Epic.

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