Epic Games sues Apple, Google over the removal of Fortnite from their respective app stores
Epic Games is suing Apple and Google after the two tech giants pulled Fortnite from their respective app stores. The game developer and publisher filed a lawsuit against Google over alleged antitrust violation, only hours after filing a civil suit against Apple.
Epic’s complaint claims that search giant’s payment restrictions on the Play Store constitutes a monopoly and are in violation of the Sherman Act and California’s Cartwright Act. Epic also filed a legal complaint in the US District Court for the Northern District of California against Apple, alleging that the App Store also constitutes a monopoly.
The civil suit against Apple seeks injunctive relief to “allow fair competition” in mobile app distribution. Epic’s grip with Apple is its monopoly control over the distribution of software and payment systems within that software.
With Google, Epic is concerned about the Play Store’s role as the sole distributor of Android apps. Epic also raised alarms over the requirement that hosted apps use Play Store Billing for any purchases made in the app.
The charges against both tech giants are primarily identical, apart from the different openings. With Apple, Epic’s complaint opened with a description of the company’s iconic 1984 ad.
“In 1984, the fledgling Apple computer company released the Macintosh—the first mass-market, consumer-friendly home computer. The product launch was announced with a breathtaking advertisement evoking George Orwell’s 1984 that cast Apple as a beneficial, revolutionary force breaking IBM’s monopoly over the computing technology market.”
Epic’s complaint against Google reads; “Epic does not seek monetary compensation from this Court for the injuries it has suffered. Epic likewise does not seek a side deal or favorable treatment from Google for itself. Instead, Epic seeks injunctive relief that would deliver Google’s broken promise: an open, competitive Android ecosystem for all users and industry participants.”
The case against Google will be much harder considering Android’s software restrictions are much less than what Apple does for iOS. Google also allows for the installation of third-party app stores on the Play Store. Android apps can also be sideloaded through direct links without an app store, a system that Fortnite used until recently.
Fortnite only recently arrived on the Google Play Store in April this year, overcoming concerns about the Play Store’s policy of taking 30 percent on in-app purchases.