What you need to know
- Epic Games is taking its fight with Apple to competition authorities in Australia.
- Epic says that Apple's "unrestrained market power" is driving up the price of apps.
Epic Games has taken its antitrust dispute with Apple to Australia and the country's Competition and Consumer Commission.
Apple's "unrestrained market power" is artificially jacking up the price of phone and tablet apps and suppressing competition and innovation in a key gateway to the Australian economy, one of the world's most successful app developers has warned Australia's market regulator.
Epic Games, maker of the smash hit video game Fortnite, has told the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that Apple's stranglehold on iPhone and iPad app distribution and billing is forcing app developers to pay a 30 per cent "Apple tax" on all the games they sell, when the true commission should be closer to the single-digit commissions paid in other markets.
As the report notes, Epic has already sued Apple in court in Australia over its antitrust dispute, claiming Apple "forces" app developers to use Apple's in-app-purchases system and its App Store to distribute software such that Apple takes a cut of the profit. The same case has now been taken directly to the ACCC, which is already investigating both Apple and Google in the country. In its submission Epic stated:
"Apple's conduct is symptomatic of unrestrained market power that results in significant harm to Australian consumers and the competitive process.
In the absence of these anti‐competitive restraints, app developers would have a greater ability to distribute their apps, leading to increased competition and innovation to the benefit of Australian consumers.
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's lawsuit against Apple will call for trial in the US later this year.