Fortnite developer brings legal action against Apple and Google to UK

The makers of popular game Fortnite have begun legal action against Apple and Google in the UK, accusing the tech giants of breaking UK competition rules.

Epic Games has taken its case to the Competition Appeal Tribunal to ask if it can adjudicate on the ongoing dispute between the three American companies.

Fortnite is one of the world’s most popular games but was removed from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store last year when Epic added a new payment option to the game which allowed users to buy in-game items directly from them rather than using Apple and Google’s own payment systems – something the two tech giants said breached their rules.

Epic Games has argued that this system is unfair and anti-competitive – Google and Apple take a commission of up to 30% on transactions made through their systems.

Fortnite logo
Fortnite logo

The gaming firm has also launched legal action in the US over the issue.

A number of other firms, including music streaming platform Spotify, have also been vocal on the issue of fair competition and announced their support for Epic’s actions.

In its claim to the Competition Appeal Tribunal, Epic accuses Apple and Google of abusing their “dominant position” in the market and unfairly restricting competition.

Epic has asked the tribunal to declare the removal of Fortnite from both app stores unlawful and for an order that would see Fortnite restored to both stores and would allow Epic to offer its direct payment option to users.

Late last year, Apple announced a change to its commission scheme, confirming it would halve the charge to 15% for any developer which earns less than one million dollars per year in sales generated through the store.

At the time, Apple boss Tim Cook said he hoped the move would help “write the next chapter of creativity and prosperity on the App Store”.