The maker of Fortnite has taken Apple to Europe's competition watchdog, claiming that the company is abusing its monopoly and demanding that it restore the popular game to its app stores.
Epic Games filed an antitrust complaint to the European Commission's Directorate-General for Competition on Wednesday, claiming Apple had broken the law by controlling what apps can be installed on iPhones and iPads, and "completely eliminated competition in app distribution and payment processes".
The complaint forms part of a wider investigation into Apple following complaints made by Spotify.
It follows a three-pronged legal assault on the iPhone maker in the UK , the US and Australia, key markets for the game maker which also owns early pandemic hit group chat app Houseparty.
In the filing, Epic claims Apple is stifling competition by demanding a 30pc cut of transactions made through apps on their store because Apple prevents any alternative to the app store to appear on iPhones.
Fortnite was banished from the App Store in August 2020 after circumventing its transaction fee rules. It was also removed from the Google Play Store, an Android alternative, for the same reason. It has brought legal action against Google as a result.
Epic Games chief executive Tim Sweeney said: "We will not stand idly by and allow Apple to use its platform dominance to control what should be a level digital playing field.
"It's bad for consumers, who are paying inflated prices due to the complete lack of competition among stores and in-app payment processing.
"And it's bad for developers, whose very livelihoods often hinge on Apple's complete discretion as to who to allow on the iOS platform, and on which terms."
An Apple spokesman said that Epic had grown into a "multi-billion dollar business" using the app store and that it had violated guidelines that "apply equally to every developer". It has countersued Epic for theft in the US.
He said: "Their reckless behaviour made pawns of customers, and we look forward to making this clear to the European Commission."
Courts in the US ruled earlier this year that Apple was within its right to ban Fortnite, but not its Unreal Engine, a platform which many third-party developers rely on to make their own games.
Epic Games lodged a complaint with the British Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) on January 14, claiming both Apple and Google had broken the 1998 Competition Act by controlling what apps can be installed on tablets and smartphones.
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