Epic takes action against Google Australia this time

by Berçem Sultan Kaya
Epic google

The waters between Epic and app stores are not set to settle anytime soon. The commission fight, which started in August last year, continues to grow after none of the parties took a step back.

As a matter of fact, Epic Games has taken legal action against Google in Australia this time around. Emphasizing that Google has almost monopolized app distribution and payments, Epic accused the app store of contravening the Australian Consumer Law and the Competition and Consumer Act.

The fight that started with Fortnite

In August 2020, Epic Games, which brought its own in-app payment system to the Fortnite game, caused a fire. Immediately objecting to this situation, Apple and Google have made it clear that apps downloaded from their app stores cannot use their own payment system.

However, Epic Games is not a company that will quietly yield to this decision. Apart from the fact that the app stores receive a 30% commission on every payment made through their platform and did not allow any other payment alternatives, causing a serious war between the parties. Although it was eventually banned from both stores, Epic continues to wage this war on all fronts.

Free Fortnite

An image representing Apple from Epic Games’ #FreeFortnite campaign.

The case that is taken to court

The Fortnite developer company filed a lawsuit against Apple in Australia in November 2020. Now to continue this fight, Epic filed against Google, Google Asia Pacific and Google Australia.

Epic made several charges against Google and its two subsidiaries in its complaint, including abuse of market power, exclusive dealing, and unconscionable conduct. Explaining that Epic is not seeking damages from neither Apple nor Google in its statements, the company states that it is simply seeking fair access and competition that will benefit consumers and developers.

Is it possible to play Fortnite on iOS and Android devices?

With this case, although Epic has shown that it has not finished its fight with Google, Apple continues to be its main focus. Since Apple users can only download apps from the brand’s own app store, it is unlikely to play Fortnite on these devices at the moment. Since only Nvidia GeForce NOW supports Fortnite, GeForce NOW users can also play Fortnite on an iPhone or iPad this way.

However, it is possible to install apps from outside the Google Play Store on Android devices. However, this seems to be an inconvenient way that is not preferred for most users. As a result, Epic accuses the two brands of monopoly.

Epic is currently fighting this case on multiple fronts, particularly in the US, the UK and the European Union.

The UK Competition Appeals Tribunal has decided that antitrust claims against Apple should be dealt with in the United States, but allowed the case against Google to continue. The case will be in court in May 2021.

We cannot say that Epic Games’ struggle was unfair or useless. Today, not only giant developers, but all studios have to pay 30% commission on in-app purchases to Google and Apple. The objection of a big company like Epic Games to this issue has focused the attention of many parties on this issue.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stated in a statement published in the past months that they are examining this issue. In addition, around 50 companies, including Spotify, came together and founded Coalition For App Fairness in the USA. With the impact of the work carried out by the coalition, the bill prepared in Arizona to prevent the pressure of Google and Apple has passed two important steps.

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