Epic's new UK filing wants Apple to put Fortnite back into the App Store

iPad mini 5
iPad mini 5 (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Epic Games has filed a complaint in the UK in an attempt to get Fortnite back into the App Store.

Updated January 14, 2021: iMore has received a statement from Epic Games' VP Communications and Policy, Tera Randall. It's been added to the bottom of this post.

Epic Games today pushed its battle with Apple a step further by filing a complaint with the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal in an attempt to get Fortnite back into the App Store on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

First spotted by Bloomberg, the complaint makes for quite the read.

Epic says that Apple is abusing its position in the market to prevent Epic from providing Fortnite to gamers. Ignoring the fact that it broke App Store rules to put it in that position.

Epic alleges that Apple is dominant in the iOS app distribution market, and the iOS in-app payment processing market. Epic alleges that by:(a) reserving to itself the sole channel for the distribution of apps to and/or the payment processing mechanism for purchases of in-app content for and by consumers who use iPhones and iPads; (b) using its position of dominance to charge unfair prices for the distribution of apps via the App Store and/or use of the Apple IAP; (c) its response to the introduction by Epic of price competition for purchases of in-app content in Fortnite;Apple has abused its dominant position...

As a result, Epic wants the tribunal to declare Apple's move unlawful and for Fortnite to be reinstated to the App Store. Further, it also wants Apple to allow Epic to launch its own store on iPhone and iPad.

Oh, and it wants "other relief as the Tribunal may think fit."

The full complaint is worth a read if you fancy spending a few minutes with some legalese this Thursday.

For those not following along, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic bypassed its in-app purchase system, allowing people to buy in-game currency without Apple getting a cut. Epic can, whenever it wants, get Fortnite back into the App Store by following the rules.

I received the following statement from Epic Games' VP Communications and Policy, Tera Randall.

Epic Games has launched legal proceedings against Apple and Google in the United Kingdom, expanding its fight to advance fair digital platform practices for consumers and developers.The legal proceedings, filed in London's Competition Appeal Tribunal, allege the conduct of both Apple and Google in their respective app stores is an abuse of a dominant position and in breach of the UK's competition laws, substantially reducing competition in app distribution and payment processes.We believe that this is an important argument to make on behalf of consumers and developers in the UK and around the world who are impacted by Apple and Google's misuse of market power. We look forward to making our case on January 21.Epic is not seeking damages from Apple or Google in the UK, Australia or the US, it is simply seeking fair access and competition that will benefit all consumers.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.