Epic Games 'self-serving' goliath, says Apple in Australia legal battle

Epic Australia
Epic Australia (Image credit: Epic Games)

Fortnite Season 6 Hero

Fortnite Season 6 Hero (Image credit: Epic Games)

What you need to know

  • Epic Games and Apple have clashed at a hearing in Australia.
  • Lawyers for Apple said that Epic's lawsuit was "self-serving".
  • It also accused Epic of ignoring its contractual obligation to settle legal disputes in Northern California.

A lawyer for Apple has told an Australian court that Epic Games is a "self-serving" goliath, in a hearing to determine whether its case can proceed against Apple whilst a parallel US case is running.

From The Guardian:

Apple has argued that Epic Games' case against the tech giant's in-app purchase system is not altruistically trying to secure a better deal for Australian customers and app developers in the app store, but the "self-serving" act of a Goliath trying to fundamentally change Apple's business model.

Epic filed a lawsuit against Apple in Australia in November on a platform broadly similar to its larger legal fight with the company in the US. "Today's legal claim, filed in the Federal Court of Australia, alleges Apple's conduct in its App Store is a misuse of market power and substantially lessens competition in-app distribution and payment processes", Epic said in a statement at the time. The case seeks no monetary compensation but "fair access and competition that will benefit all consumers."

At a hearing Tuesday, an Australian federal court heard arguments as to whether the Australia case can continue whilst the US battle rages on. Barrister for Apple, Stephen Free SC, told the court:

"You have a sophisticated commercial entity that sought and obtained access to Apple's intellectual property and all of the benefits of access to Apple's software and hardware, exploited that opportunity to great effect for many years, and the essence of the dispute … is that Epic wants to redefine the terms of access in quite fundamental and self-serving ways... Epic wants to ignore its … contractual promise to litigate only in the northern district of California."

The report says Free told the court "the change sought by Epic would fundamentally rewrite Apple's business model which, he said, was built "around prioritizing quality, security, and privacy of these operating systems".

Epic responded by saying Australian competition laws were to be enforced in Australia and "override any private choice of jurisdiction" stating:

"The issue is the impact on Australian markets and whether the requirements of our law are satisfied. It is a pretty straightforward case, and we would think the evidence is clear this conduct is going to substantially impact these markets in the way we allege."

A judgment was not passed immediately but would be delivered "pretty promptly", Justice Nye Perram told the court.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9