Epic Games Files for Temporary Restraining Order to Stop Apple from Terminating Epic Developer Accounts

UTC by Steve Muchoki · 3 min read
Epic Games Files for Temporary Restraining Order to Stop Apple from Terminating Epic Developer Accounts
Photo: Sergey Galyonkin / Flickr

Epic Games moved to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to file for a temporary restraining order against Apple that threatened to delist its products from the App store.

Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) is facing court charges after Epic Games Inc filed for a temporary restraining order against Apple’s decision to de-list the app Fortnite, including any update thereof, from the App Store. Apple has been threatening Epic Games on the basis that Fortnite offers in-app payment processing through means other than Apple’s In-App Purchase, whereby Apple gets 30% of the collected revenue.

This is not the first case against the giant smartphone maker on a similar basis. Spotify Technology SA, Match Group, and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) have all publicly criticized Apple’s App Store policies recently.

Tensions between Epic Games and Apple

The complaints follow the recent congress hearing where Apple CEO Tim Cook was grilled over the company’s huge market dominance that is probably killing competitors and other startups.

During the Congressional hearing, Cook was asked whether Apple has “ever retaliated against or disadvantaged a developer who went public about their frustrations with the App Store”. In his defense, Cook said:

“We do not retaliate or bully people. It’s strongly against our company culture.”

However, less than a month down the line, things seem to be the opposite of what Cook testified before Congress. Apple being the sole manufacturer of its products sets the rules to govern the App Store developers, hence creating a huge monopoly against competitors.

“Apple has for years used its complete monopoly over the distribution of apps to the billion users of iOS, the Apple operating system (“OS”) running on all iPhones and iPads, to coerce app developers into using Apple’s payment platform, In-App Purchase (“IAP”) for all in-app purchases of digital content used in their apps. By tying IAP to app distribution, Apple eliminates all competition in the market for in-app payment processing, allowing it to impose an exorbitant 30% “app tax” on all in-app purchases of in-app content,” Epic Games wrote.

In its defense, Apple claims that Epic is violating the set rules that are used by all developers and meant to protect users.

“Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users,” an Apple spokesman said. “As a result, their Fortnite app has been removed from the store.”

Epic Games is facing similar challenges with Google LLC (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) that led to the delisting of the app from the Google Play Store.

“While Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies,” a Google spokesman told the media. “However, we welcome the opportunity to continue our discussions with Epic and bring Fortnite back to Google Play.”

You can find out more news from the gaming industry on Coinspeaker.

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