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Epic Games files antitrust complaint against Apple in EU

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Brussels, Feb 17 (IANS) Fortnite creator Epic Games on Wednesday said it has filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in the European Union, expanding the company’s fight to advance what it calls “fairer digital platform practices” for developers and consumers.

The complaint complements legal processes already underway in both the US and Australia, as well as Epic’s recent filing before the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal.

The complaint, filed with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition, alleges that through a series of carefully designed anti-competitive restrictions, Apple has not just harmed but completely eliminated competition in app distribution and payment processes.

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Epic Games alleges that Apple uses its control of the iOS ecosystem to benefit itself while blocking competitors and its conduct is an abuse of a dominant position and in breach of EU competition law.

Epic has asked the Commission to address Apple’s “anti-competitive conduct” by imposing timely and effective remedies.

The company said that it is not seeking damages from Apple, as is the case in the US, Australia and the UK.

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It is seeking “fair access and competition that will benefit consumers and developers.”

“What’s at stake here is the very future of mobile platforms,” Epic Games Founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said in a statement.

“Consumers have the right to install apps from sources of their choosing and developers have the right to compete in a fair marketplace. We will not stand idly by and allow Apple to use its platform dominance to control what should be a level digital playing field.”

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The company said that when Epic gave Fortnite players on iOS a choice between Apple payment and Epic direct payment, Apple retaliated by blocking Fortnite updates.

When Epic sought to bring the Epic Games Store to iOS, Apple declined.

It alleges that while Apple has launched its own gaming distribution service, Apple Arcade, it has barred competitors including Epic from doing the same.

Apple had earlier denied that its 30 per cent commission was anti-competitive, saying it was Epic Games that violated its contract.

The iPhone maker said that Epic benefited from Apple’s promotion and developer tools.

The European Commission is already investigating Apple’s conduct following complaints from other app developers.

–IANS

gb/bg

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