Epic Games accuses Apple of not complying with court order

This image shows a logo of Epic Games and Apple
(Image credit: Epic Games and Apple)

Apple may have recently made news by allowing owners of Apple devices and products in the European Union to use either Apple’s App Store or alternative app marketplaces to download apps, games and other services for the first time. But some companies still aren’t satisfied that Apple has made good on its promises. 

In fact, despite Apple's App Store overhaul, companies are still claiming that Apple isn’t playing fair. One of those companies is Epic Games. And according to a recent Bloomberg article, Epic Games told a judge in court that Apple “hasn’t properly complied with a court order to open its App Store to allow outside payment options weeks after its bid to resist those changes hit a dead end.” 

Epic Games says Apple “hasn’t properly complied with a court order to open its App Store to allow outside payment options weeks after its bid to resist those changes hit a dead end.” All of this comes after the U.S. Supreme Court decided, in mid-January, not to hear arguments from either side of the three-year battle. 

In doing so, Apple decided that “it would let all third-party apps sold in the US include an outside link to a developer website to process payments for in-app purchases,” according to Bloomberg. And although Apple has followed through with that, Epic Games says that Apple is “still asking developers to reimburse the company with a commission of up to 27% for purchases made outside the App Store.”

Another company that claims Apple hasn’t properly fixed the App Store

It’s why Epic filed in court this past Tuesday, charging that it “disputes Apple’s compliance.” Bloomberg also noted that Epic Games would explain the “non-compliance” in a forthcoming filing.

Epic’s CEO, Tim Sweeney, further summed up four “glaring problems” his company has with Apple on social media: He says that, "1.) Apple has introduced an anticompetitive new 27% tax on web purchases. Apple has never done this before, and it kills price competition. Developers can't offer digital items more cheaply on the web after paying a third-party payment processor 3-6% and paying this new 27% Apple Tax."

He also said that, "Apple dictates all aspects of these links and doesn't allow them in the app's ordinary payment flow. Rather, links must be separated out into a different section of the app, away from places where users actually buy stuff." 

He then says, "3) Apple requires developers to open a generic web browser session, forcing the user to log in to the developer's website again, to make a purchase. And because of #2, users will have to search all over again for the digital item they wanted to buy."

Lastly, Sweeney says, "4) Apple will front-run competing payment processors with their own ‘scare screen’ to disadvantage them.”

Sweeney concludes by saying that Epic Games “will contest Apple's bad-faith compliance plan in District Court.”

Terry Sullivan

Terry Sullivan has tested and reported on many different types of consumer electronics and technology services, including cameras, action cams, mobile devices, streaming music services, wireless speakers, headphones, smart-home devices, and mobile apps. He has also written extensively on various trends in the worlds of technology, multimedia, and the arts. For more than 10 years, his articles and blog posts have appeared in a variety of publications and websites, including The New York Times, Consumer Reports, PCMag, Worth magazine, Popular Science, Tom’s Guide, and Artnews. He is also a musician, photographer, artist, and teacher.