In another chapter of the battle between Epic Games and Apple, the game company is now appealing to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against Apple’s “anti-competitive” practices regarding the App Store. According to Epic, Apple’s conduct and “unrestrained market power” can result in “significant harm” to consumers.
As reported by the Australian Financial Review, Epic Games sued Apple in Australia last year after the Cupertino-based company removed Fortnite from the App Store. While the trial will still take place, Epic is warning Australia’s market regulator to take some action against Apple.
Epic once again accuses Apple of using its power to force developers to pay a 30% commission for offering paid apps on the App Store, which they call “Apple tax.” This commission also applies to in-app purchases, which affects items sold within games like Fortnite.
As users cannot easily install apps from other places besides the App Store on iOS, Epic argues that Apple is somehow abusing developers with its fees and rules. In a submission to ACCC, Epic said that Apple has “unrestrained market power” and that this could result “in significant harm to Australian consumers.”
The company suggests that consumers would pay less for apps, games, and other digital content if Apple and Google charged lower fees from developers.
In addition, Australian consumers would not be paying the 30 per cent tax that Apple (and Google) impose on the purchase of in‐app content, but would be paying a fraction of that, more consistent with the single-digit fees charged in financial transactions that exist in an open and competitive environment.
Epic Games also said that both companies (Apple and Google) should operate “in a manner that facilitates competition, fair access and choice, consumer value for money and innovation.”
In November last year, Apple launched a new program that allows developers who earn up to $1 million in proceeds per year with the App Store to pay a lower commission of 15% to the company. This, however, doesn’t change the fact that Epic would still have to pay a 30% commission if Fortnite returned to App Store.
Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store because Epic Games implemented its own payment process system for in-app purchases that evaded Apple’s In-App Purchase system. The two companies are currently engaged in a legal battle, with a trial set for later this year in the United States.
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