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Epic Games takes fight against Apple to EU antitrust regulators

Epic Games takes fight against Apple to EU antitrust regulators
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Epic Games, the developer behind the popular Fortnite app, expanded its fight against Apple through an antitrust complaint filed with the European Union on Tuesday. 

Epic Games alleges Apple has eliminated competition in app distribution and payment through a series of “carefully designed anti-competitive restrictions,” according to a statement announcing the complaint. 

Epic Games has already taken legal action against Apple in the U.S., Australia and the United Kingdom. Unlike those cases, Epic Games is not seeking damages from Apple through its EU complaint. 

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Epic is asking the European Commission’s competition watchdog to impose “timely and effective remedies” to address Apple’s alleged anticompetitive conduct. 

“We will not stand idly by and allow Apple to use its platform dominance to control what should be a level digital playing field,” Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said in a statement. “It’s bad for consumers, who are paying inflated prices due to the complete lack of competition among stores and in-app payment processing. And it’s bad for developers, whose very livelihoods often hinge on Apple’s complete discretion as to who to allow on the iOS platform, and on which terms.”

Epic Games’s accusations are centered on Apple’s decision to block Fortnite updates when Epic allowed players on Apple’s iOS operating system to choose between Apple payment and Epic direct payment. 

The Fortnite developer also accused Apple of barring the tech giant's competitors, including Epic, from launching their own gaming distribution services, while Apple has one of its own with Apple Arcade. 

A spokesperson for Apple was not immediately available for comment when contacted by The Hill, but the company hit back at Epic Games in a statement to The Associated Press. Apple said Epic Games introduced a payment feature that Apple had not reviewed or approved with the intention of violating app store guidelines that aim to protect customers. 

“Their reckless behavior made pawns of customers, and we look forward to making this clear to the European Commission,” Apple said in its statement, according to the AP.