Epic sues Apple after Fortnite removed from App Store

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2020
Fortnite creator Epic Games has leveled a lawsuit against Apple accusing the company of unfair business practices after the popular battle royale game Fortnite was removed from the App Store.

Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider
Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider


On Thursday, Epic announced that it would sidestep Apple's 30% App Store commission fee by implementing direct payments. A few hours later, Apple pulled Fortnite from the App Store.

Less than an hour later, Epic filed a lawsuit against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The complaint alleges that Apple has become a "behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition and stifle innovation," and claims that the company's size and reach "far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history."






Importantly, the lawsuit doesn't seek to argue whether Epic was actually abiding by Apple's developer guidelines. Instead, it takes aim at the guidelines themselves with claims that they are designed to stamp out competition.

Among other App Store policies, the lawsuit takes particular issue with Apple's 30% commission of in-app subscription purchases, a cut the games maker calls "exorbitant."

It also claims that Apple's policies to require developers to go through the App Store are also anticompetitive, stating that Epic would release its own competing app store were it not for Apple's rules.

The complaint seeks an injunction prohibiting "Apple's anti-competitive conduct" and any other "equitable relief necessary."





Along with the lawsuit, Epic Games called gamers and critics of App Store policies to action with the release of a video parodying Apple's famous "1984" Super Bowl ad spot. In the original, Apple is portrayed as the breaker of IBM's aging and despotic bonds. It is Apple -- depicted as a talking apple complete with worm -- that plays the part of tyrant in Epic's version.

The speed of the lawsuit's filing, as well as the video, suggest that Epic was planning for Fortnite's removal in advance.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 129
    john_tjohn_t Posts: 12member
    Probably not the best news for Apple as they’re already under investigation for anti-competitive business practices 
    chemengin1darkvader
  • Reply 2 of 129
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,924member
    Apple doesn’t have a monopoly on phones. If you don’t like the terms, you can always not sell your games in iOS. Android is the “leader” in phones anyway. 
    Beatschiageorgie01dewmegenovelleviclauyycJFC_PAlolliveruraharakillroy
  • Reply 3 of 129
    Pathetic. No company has a right to use another company's multi-billion dollar infrastructure for free. Who comes up with this stuff? Apple is not stopping Fortnite from creating it's own OS, phone, and App Store. They need to stop whining and get after it or sit down, way down.
    Beatsmark fearingchiageorgie01SpamSandwichleavingthebiggdewmeScot1sgs46DancingMonkeys
  • Reply 4 of 129
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    How the hell is this escalating so fast??
    lolliverkillroysvanstrom
  • Reply 5 of 129
    The complaint alleges that Apple has become a "behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition and stifle innovation," and claims that the company's size and reach "far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history."

    A behemoth with how much of the mobile phone market exactly? Of the desktop market? Of the laptop market? Epic just wants free access to customers.  This is a dead suit. Every reseller/store pays a wholesale price. And in grocery stores you also pay a shelving fee. If I won't pay that Safeway won't carry my product. So good luck here...
    chiaurahararadarthekattmayviclauyycJFC_PAlolliverkillroyFileMakerFellerrob53
  • Reply 6 of 129
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,366member
    The rules are simple. If you offer payment outside of the app, you need to allow the purchase in the app at the same price. That’s all. No one is stopping you from selling subscriptions or stuff outside of the app if you do it properly. These are the rules.

    So what a epic wants is all the benefit of the App Store without any of the cost. They want preferential treatment. Apple can show that they have created an ecosystem for small development shops to flourish. They have done this using the revenue split model. Traditional brick and mortar stores make their money off selling shelf space at a premium so companies with more resources get preferential placement. That sounds to be what Epic wants.
    SpamSandwichJFC_PAlolliverkillroyh2psailorpauljony0watto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 7 of 129
    PezaPeza Posts: 198member
    This is a very clever marketing campaign.. well played Epic well played.
    GeorgeBMacJFC_PAh2pFileMakerFellerjony0
  • Reply 8 of 129
    If I had my own grocery store, wouldn't I be allowed to pick and choose which goods I wanted to sell?  I should be able to decide that much because it's MY store.  I set the rules.  Isn't the App Store the same way or does something change because of the scale of the store?

    I'm not going to argue as to whether Apple charges too much in terms of fees because I don't know what's exactly fair.  Apple has a lot of housekeeping to do so I don't know if they're making huge profits or not.  I just think that if a developer already knows the rules and they want to put their app on the App Store, I don't understand why they're complaining after the fact.  Fortnite is very popular and didn't Epic make quite a bit of money from the game already.  I'm not taking any sides as it doesn't affect me in any way as I don't play Fortnite and I'm not a developer.  I am an Apple shareholder and Tim Cook has said many developers make a lot of money from their apps on iOS.  Those numbers I heard seem pretty huge, but there are lots of games on the App Store so who knows how many developers make a lot of money.  Maybe only a small percentage.  I'm interested in how the courts treat this anti-trust suit, but Apple usually loses court cases because it's a wealthy company that's an easy target for large payouts.
    Scot1h2pFileMakerFellercastcoreaderutterretrogustojony0watto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 9 of 129
    uraharaurahara Posts: 689member
    Ok. I deleted Fortnite. Trash company. 


    30% (and later 15%) are “ exorbitant”. 
    Compared to what? What I fair? 
    What would be the fee they would be happy with? 
    0%? 
    Makes no sense. 
    Stupid. Trash company. 
    mwhiteGabymacplusplusradarthekatlolliverkillroyflyingdpsailorpaullongfangjony0
  • Reply 10 of 129
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,569member
    Just a jump on the “i want my way” or else bandwagon. 

    Rules exist for a reason. Chaos is prevented, business is made, and products are better. 

    With the recent whiners who want to pretend that Apple doesn’t deserve their storefront and hosting / delivery fees, even the guys who really should know better are jumping in. Shameful. 

    Reminds me of all the “we don’t need law enforcement” stuff going on. 

    Yes. We do. Get back in line and stop stealing. 
    Beatsmwhitekillroyh2pFileMakerFellerlongfangwatto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 11 of 129
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    It’s the beginning of the end for these entitled idiots.
    BeatslolliverFileMakerFellerlongfangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 129
    red oakred oak Posts: 986member
    Epic signed a clearly worded contract.   Then, snuck and enabled new payment code in their app.   All while working in parallel putting together a lawsuit and PR campaign including the video to be in hand when Apple expectedly pulled the app 

    At a minimum, Epic is morally bankrupt and has no ethics.    Who in the world would want to work for a company that does something like this?   
    edited August 2020 d.j. adequateScot1GabyradarthekaturaharalolliverkillroyflyingdpFileMakerFellerGG1
  • Reply 13 of 129
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    The complaint alleges that Apple has become a "behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition and stifle innovation," and claims that the company's size and reach "far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history."

    A behemoth with how much of the mobile phone market exactly? Of the desktop market? Of the laptop market? Epic just wants free access to customers.  This is a dead suit. Every reseller/store pays a wholesale price. And in grocery stores you also pay a shelving fee. If I won't pay that Safeway won't carry my product. So good luck here...

    I read that as "It's not fair Apple is that successful."
    lolliverkillroyFileMakerFellerpscooter63sailorpaullongfangjony0watto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 14 of 129
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Just a jump on the “i want my way” or else bandwagon. 

    Rules exist for a reason. Chaos is prevented, business is made, and products are better. 

    With the recent whiners who want to pretend that Apple doesn’t deserve their storefront and hosting / delivery fees, even the guys who really should know better are jumping in. Shameful. 

    Reminds me of all the “we don’t need law enforcement” stuff going on. 

    Yes. We do. Get back in line and stop stealing. 

    Those people mean "We don't need cops getting paid to kill people" which is actually happening. Easy to criticize from the comfort of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.
    GeorgeBMacOferradarthekatraulcristianlolliverFileMakerFellermuthuk_vanalingamforegoneconclusionlongfangdarkvader
  • Reply 15 of 129
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    red oak said:
    Epic signed a clearly worded contract.   Then, snuck and enabled new payment code in their app.   All while working in parallel putting together a lawsuit and PR campaign including the video to be in hand when Apple expectedly pulled the app 

    At a minimum, Epic is morally bankrupt and has no ethics.    Who in the world would want to work for a company that does something like this?   
    They sure seem like an unethical bunch.
    d.j. adequateBeatsradarthekatmattinozuraharalolliverkillroyFileMakerFellercastcorejony0
  • Reply 16 of 129
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,555member
    I don't play Fortnight but I agree with Epic
    I've never agreed with Apple claiming a portion of all sales from an app even if those sales don't go through the AppStore.
    Some have compared it to having rules for stocking things in your own store.
    That's not it
    Some have said that Epic and others are trying to profit while not paying for the store.
    Not right either
    Look at it this way. I have a store. You want to sell something, a computer let's say, in my store. I can and should get a cut of the price for my trouble of hosting your product That's fair.
    But should I then demand a cut of everything else that is bought with that computer? I sell a Dell computer so anything purchased from Dell on that computer has to pay a toll back to me even if you're a thousand miles away from my store? Of course not, that would be absurd. 
    Yet Apple is demanding a slice of everything bought on Amazon Prime, and Kindle, and all in game purchases, and more, even if those transactions have nothing to do and go nowhere near Apple's store. 
    That has never felt right to me. 
    Apple should get a cute of sales in their store.
    But that should be the end of it. 
    Oh and don't go around saying if they don't like it they can go elsewhere, to Android for example. Apple has the only store where developers make significant money. The profits from the android store is a fraction. 
    It's like saying if you don't want to pay my forever cut on sales you can go to the other store in the poor section of town where nobody can afford your stuff. 
    Not really a choice for most developers.
    It's this kind of behavior that's getting Apple in trouble with antitrust hawks. 

    rain22OferraulcristianfluffheadPascalxx[Deleted User]
  • Reply 17 of 129
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,845member
    The complaint alleges that Apple has become a "behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition and stifle innovation," and claims that the company's size and reach "far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history."

    A behemoth with how much of the mobile phone market exactly? Of the desktop market? Of the laptop market? Epic just wants free access to customers.  This is a dead suit. Every reseller/store pays a wholesale price. And in grocery stores you also pay a shelving fee. If I won't pay that Safeway won't carry my product. So good luck here...
    Yes.  It is amazing how these companies make the claim that Apple is monopolizing the market for Apple products.  Even more amazing that some politicians are swallowing this line.  Maybe they should turn their attention to Sony for monopolizing the market for Sony game consoles.  Or Merceds Benz for their lock on the market for Mercedes Benz cars.  Ridiculously stupid thinking.

    The Apple App Store is a subordinate market.  It exists solely because of the iPhone and iPad.  If Apple has a monopoly in the smartphone and tablet market, then sure, Epic has a case because that is the only way consumers can buy and play their games.  But with Android out there, Epic cannot claim that Apple is shutting them out of the market.  If they must sue someone, maybe they should sue Google and the Android phone manufacturers for putting out such lousy product that nobody wants to play Fortnite through their platform.  But that's not true either because a lot of Android phone owners play Fortnite.
    BeatsJFC_PAlolliverkillroyh2ppscooter63watto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 18 of 129
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,251member
    Hi Apple, thanks for helping us become really popular and rich with your trusted app store and rock-solid worldwide hosting, transaction and distribution platform. Also thanks for building a market for us to sell our wares too, as well as making the hardware, software and APIs for us to utilise as a means to sell stuff to people.

    But LOL, we don't want to pay for any of that. It should be free because you sell phones or something.
    radarthekatviclauyyclolliverfluffheadkillroyhlee1169FileMakerFellerpscooter63apres587jony0
  • Reply 19 of 129
    How quickly we as a culture become complacent and feel entitled...

    Smartphones are now an expected element of culture in many ways, and because of that Epic believes Apple has an obligation to provide free and open access not only to Apple’s designs, APIs, development tools, but also their ecosystem, and therefore Apple’s reputation (if they do a bad job independently). Apparently they aren’t making enough money, and obviously they would have been as successful as they are without Apple. In fact, Epic actually owns Apple’s App Store, morally speaking, because they’re just so inherently awesome and important. (Sarcasm)
    radarthekatviclauyycleealmightywatto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 20 of 129
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    DAalseth said:
    I don't play Fortnight but I agree with Epic
    I've never agreed with Apple claiming a portion of all sales from an app even if those sales don't go through the AppStore.
    Some have compared it to having rules for stocking things in your own store.
    That's not it
    Some have said that Epic and others are trying to profit while not paying for the store.
    Not right either
    Look at it this way. I have a store. You want to sell something, a computer let's say, in my store. I can and should get a cut of the price for my trouble of hosting your product That's fair.
    But should I then demand a cut of everything else that is bought with that computer? I sell a Dell computer so anything purchased from Dell on that computer has to pay a toll back to me even if you're a thousand miles away from my store? Of course not, that would be absurd. 
    Yet Apple is demanding a slice of everything bought on Amazon Prime, and Kindle, and all in game purchases, and more, even if those transactions have nothing to do and go nowhere near Apple's store. 
    That has never felt right to me. 
    Apple should get a cute of sales in their store.
    But that should be the end of it. 
    Oh and don't go around saying if they don't like it they can go elsewhere, to Android for example. Apple has the only store where developers make significant money. The profits from the android store is a fraction. 
    It's like saying if you don't want to pay my forever cut on sales you can go to the other store in the poor section of town where nobody can afford your stuff. 
    Not really a choice for most developers.
    It's this kind of behavior that's getting Apple in trouble with antitrust hawks. 


    They have the option of pulling the App. It's not hard.

    I agree 100% with Apple.

    tundraboy said:
    The complaint alleges that Apple has become a "behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition and stifle innovation," and claims that the company's size and reach "far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history."

    A behemoth with how much of the mobile phone market exactly? Of the desktop market? Of the laptop market? Epic just wants free access to customers.  This is a dead suit. Every reseller/store pays a wholesale price. And in grocery stores you also pay a shelving fee. If I won't pay that Safeway won't carry my product. So good luck here...
    Yes.  It is amazing how these companies make the claim that Apple is monopolizing the market for Apple products.  Even more amazing that some politicians are swallowing this line.  Maybe they should turn their attention to Sony for monopolizing the market for Sony game consoles.  Or Merceds Benz for their lock on the market for Mercedes Benz cars.  Ridiculously stupid thinking.

    The Apple App Store is a subordinate market.  It exists solely because of the iPhone and iPad.  If Apple has a monopoly in the smartphone and tablet market, then sure, Epic has a case because that is the only way consumers can buy and play their games.  But with Android out there, Epic cannot claim that Apple is shutting them out of the market.  If they must sue someone, maybe they should sue Google and the Android phone manufacturers for putting out such lousy product that nobody wants to play Fortnite through their platform.  But that's not true either because a lot of Android phone owners play Fortnite.

    Even if Apple had a monopoly Epic still has no case. Of course anti-Apple Americans will try to screw Apple anyway.

    iKnockoffs are having a hard time running Fortnite and Epic knows this. They're stupid for biting the hand that feeds them. I think Apple needs to go on a full on assault on anyone who tries screwing them over.
    JFC_PAlolliverh2ppscooter63red oakjony0watto_cobraDetnator
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