It has been six months since the Epic Games' lawsuit against Apple started, but it has now reached an unexpected halt in one part of the world. The legal battle started after Fortnite was taken off the App Store for having in-game purchases but not sharing a percentage of the profit with Apple. Epic sued Apple in the United States and filed an antitrust complaint in the UK, but it was just ruled that the latter will not move forward. However, Epic will still continue to fight Apple for its decision.
In addition to the complaint against Apple, Epic is also in a legal battle against Google for the same issue. Fortnite was removed from the Play Store for the same monetary reasons, however Epic's suit against Google differs in that Android devices are not as strictly regulated by the Play Store since apps can still be sideloaded. In other words, apps can be installed directly on the device from sources other than the Play Store.
The Competition Appeal Tribunal ruled that Epic's battle against Apple is better off being fought in the United States. This means that Epic will only move forward with the lawsuit against Apple in the US, but as the two lawsuits are not connected, they are still able to move forward with the suit against Google in the UK. Even though both lawsuits are similar, it does not mean that the decision reached for Apple's case will also be reached for Google's.
Epic has argued that Fortnite's ban from the App Store constitutes a monopoly-type scenario as developers are pressured into uploading their apps to the official stores to have a competitive chance. However, by uploading an app to the App Store, the developer agrees to share up to 30 percent of the sales made through the app. Epic Games considers these types of rules make it harder to compete fairly.
A spokesperson for Epic stated that the company might pursue the complaint against Apple again after seeing the outcome of the lawsuit in the US. In the meantime, other tech companies such as Spotify have shown support for Epic's efforts to challenge Apple's rules about taking such a high percentage of an in-app transaction. Google, on the other hand, has argued that the terms for uploading an app to the Play Store are fair for the developer and that they ensure the app is safe, further benefitting the users.
Ever since its launch back in 2017, Fortnite quickly became a massive hit for developer Epic Games and the popular battle royale title has been available on all video game platforms just until recently. As of August 13, Fortnite is no longer available to download on mobile platforms, which means that new players won't be able to search the game on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
To those unfamiliar, the reason why Fortnite was removed from the mobile market, which has been a significant source of revenue for Epic Games, is because of the developer violating the rules of the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Of course, those who have been closely following the relationship between the three companies would know that there has been a long-simmering dispute between the Fortnite creator and the two tech-giants, which undoubtedly hold the lion share of the global market for smartphones.