• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.

Epic Games files EU antitrust complaint against Apple

ManofOne

Plus Member
Nov 4, 2020
5,506
12,246
820
Epic Games has filed a formal antitrust complaint against Apple to the European Commission, the latest shot in an escalating feud between the Fortnite developer and the Silicon Valley giant. Epic, one of the world’s largest games makers, claimed in a statement on Wednesday that Apple uses its iOS ecosystem to impose commercially unviable burdens on rivals, in particular the 30 per cent “tax” on App Store purchases. Epic alleged Apple has “not just harmed but completely eliminated competition in app distribution and payment processes” by staging a string of “carefully designed anti-competitive restrictions”, which it argued are in breach of EU law. The dispute between the iPhone maker and Epic began last summer, when the games group moved to circumvent the 30 per cent cut Apple takes from app revenues by launching its own in-app payment system.

Apple retaliated by removing Fortnite from its App Store and revoking Epic’s developer licence. [Epic’s] reckless behaviour made pawns of customers, and we look forward to making this clear to the European Commission . Fortnite remains unavailable on the App Store. The two are headed to trial in May, in what is likely to be a high-profile event with Tim Cook set for a seven-hour deposition. In the Brussels filing, Epic also accused Apple of giving itself preferential treatment by launching its own gaming distribution service, Apple Arcade, while making it difficult for competitors to bundle multiple games into single apps within the App Store.

“What’s at stake here is the very future of mobile platforms,” said Tim Sweeney, Epic Games founder and chief executive. “Consumers have the right to install apps from sources of their choosing and developers have the right to compete in a fair marketplace.” He said his company will fight what he regards as Apple’s abuse of its dominant platform. “It’s bad for consumers, who are paying inflated prices due to the complete lack of competition among stores and in-app payment processing,” he said. “And it’s bad for developers, whose very livelihoods often hinge on Apple’s complete discretion as to who to allow on the iOS platform, and on which terms.” During a call with reporters,

Sweeney said that Apple’s dominance in hardware means it can do “whatever” it wants. “The 30 per cent they charge as their app tax, they can make it 50 per cent or 90 per cent or a 100 per cent. Under their theory of how these markets are structured they have every right to do that,” he said. Epic is not seeking damages from Apple in its EU filing. Instead, it is asking for “fair access and competition . . . by imposing timely and effective remedies”. Asked to elaborate on what he foresaw as remedies, Sweeney said: “We just want to see prohibition on these platform companies using their control over the hardware to exert control over secondary markets and force them to compete on equal terms with every competitor.” Apple said: “Our priorities have always been to provide customers with a safe and trusted place to download software and to apply the rules equally to all developers . . . [Epic’s] reckless behaviour made pawns of customers, and we look forward to making this clear to the European Commission.” The European Commission, which is investigating Apple in multiple initial antitrust probes, said: “The commission is aware of these concerns regarding Apple’s App Store rules.”

Epic Games is not the first app developer to criticise Apple’s restrictions and fees. Last July, messaging app Telegram took issue with the group’s argument that its 30 per cent fee helps to keep afloat the App Store.
 

Guilty_AI

Member
Apr 12, 2020
3,392
5,962
670
 

kruis

Exposing the sinister cartel of retailers who allow companies to pay for advertising space.
Dec 11, 2008
3,011
1,429
1,305
Just like last time, it's Goliath and Goliath, and nobody cares who wins.

Epic Games is worth 17 billion dollar, Apple is worth 2 trillion dollar. I'd still say the fight is between David and Goliath. Apple is a stupefyingly rich company.
 

AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
May 31, 2018
6,301
13,866
785
Leeds, UK
Epic Games is worth 17 billion dollar, Apple is worth 2 trillion dollar. I'd still say the fight is between David and Goliath. Apple is a stupefyingly rich company.

Contextually, sure, but to the onlooker, Epic isn't exactly "the little guy" at a 17 billion dollar net worth. I can't find the energy to root for them.
 

kuncol02

Member
Apr 4, 2020
1,315
1,447
455
It is funny how they guy who invest into exclusives in his own Fortnite garden and launchers fights with Apple. Shameless Tim Epic, proxy of Tencent.
You don't see difference between content exclusivity and Apple having monopoly in all transaction on 50% of all mobile phones? Hatred for Fortnite and Epic Store blinded you so bad you don't even see who is your enemy.
 

AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
May 31, 2018
6,301
13,866
785
Leeds, UK
You don't see difference between content exclusivity and Apple having monopoly in all transaction on 50% of all mobile phones? Hatred for Fortnite and Epic Store blinded you so bad you don't even see who is your enemy.

The difference is that people chose to buy iPhones. I don't own Apple products any more and never will again, they're shit. It's really hard to care that Apple charge what they want for people to use their hardware.

Whereas, I bought "a PC", I didn't buy an "Epic Games PC" that runs only software from their store, so it annoys me more when they pay off developers for exclusivity in order to coax people over to using their shitty service and building a whole new library there. I'm good without. I don't like either company and it's hard to root for either.
 

brian0057

Member
Jun 18, 2018
1,875
3,522
550
You don't see difference between content exclusivity and Apple having monopoly in all transaction on 50% of all mobile phones? Hatred for Fortnite and Epic Store blinded you so bad you don't even see who is your enemy.
No.
There's no difference between them.

Epic forcing exclusivity on certaint titles, which, by the way, they neither developed, finanaced, nor published, is the textbook definition of a monopoly.
You can't buy them anywhere else, you're forced to use the one services that offers them, and you can't find a replacement for them anywhere else.
Sounds like anyone you know? Hint: It's Apple.

Yes. An exclusive game is also a monopoly. This also applies to every exclusive movie on streaming sites.
Both the streaming and the gaming industry are due for a Paramount V The United States legal ass ramming.
This BS was dealt with in the 40's.
 

Irobot82

Member
Apr 21, 2012
3,589
863
715
South Florida
Tim Sweeney is the majority shareholder, not tencent.
So 60% Sweeney and 40% Tencent. So they have zero influence then? I'm sure its ok.

Fuck Epic Games. They try to bully their way into the market crying the entire time how nothing is fair, instead of working to grow organically gaining the trust of gamers like Steam and GoG did. Fuck em.
 

BWJinxing

Member
Apr 11, 2013
627
90
575
New York
We all shall hope Epic wins. Even if we hate them and their exclusives.
Not me. I'm hoping for epic to take the Loss. It's like the 2016 quote, "anyone but Hilary". If it was anyone but epic, I'd be behind them.

If they got their way, I feel they use their newly gained clout to become a premier app store with potential to subside in app dlc, atleast to lore people in till the time it's not economical for them. Potential mobile exciusivity deals aswell.

It be good for developers, yes, but epic has an agenda of their own
 
  • Like
Reactions: Irobot82

kuncol02

Member
Apr 4, 2020
1,315
1,447
455
The difference is that people chose to buy iPhones. I don't own Apple products any more and never will again, they're shit. It's really hard to care that Apple charge what they want for people to use their hardware.

Whereas, I bought "a PC", I didn't buy an "Epic Games PC" that runs only software from their store, so it annoys me more when they pay off developers for exclusivity in order to coax people over to using their shitty service and building a whole new library there. I'm good without. I don't like either company and it's hard to root for either.
You didn't and you are not forced to buy from Epic Store. You can still pay for netflix and that money go to netflix, or buy game directly from publisher and whole money will go into their pocket. Appla and Google literally imposed 43% tax on all transactions made with their devices and are fighting really hard to keep it and that's only money side of that problem.
 

AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
May 31, 2018
6,301
13,866
785
Leeds, UK
You didn't and you are not forced to buy from Epic Store. You can still pay for netflix and that money go to netflix, or buy game directly from publisher and whole money will go into their pocket. Appla and Google literally imposed 43% tax on all transactions made with their devices and are fighting really hard to keep it and that's only money side of that problem.

I literally can't buy a game directly from the publisher a lot of the time though. If I want to buy Valheim on PC I have to buy it through Steam - which is fine for me personally, because I've been building my Steam library for over 15 years. Epic have barged their way into the market and are now demanding I start building an Epic library, which like you said, I'm not forced to use, and won't. But to me, the consumer, I don't really give a shit which service charges the developer more to use, I give a shit that I can get a game on my service of choice. I'm not really sure what point you're trying to make. Apple suck and Epic suck (edit: and Google for that matter), none are your friend.
 
Last edited:

kuncol02

Member
Apr 4, 2020
1,315
1,447
455
Epics temper tantrum over this continues. Funny how they were fine with apples policies for over a decade until suddenly they weren’t.
More like "until they are big enough to fight Apple"

I literally can't buy a game directly from the publisher a lot of the time though. If I want to buy Valheim on PC I have to buy it through Steam - which is fine for me personally, because I've been building my Steam library for over 15 years. Epic have barged their way into the market and are now demanding I start building an Epic library, which like you said, I'm not forced to use, and won't. But to me, the consumer, I don't really give a shit which service charges the developer more to use, I give a shit that I can get a game on my service of choice. I'm not really sure what point you're trying to make. Apple suck and Epic suck (edit: and Google for that matter), none are your friend.
You really don't understand most basic implication of both situations.

The irony of shitting on apple for a walled garden when Epic store itself is a walled garden is just too funny.
Except it's not. If you sell game on Epic Store you still can use whatever payment provider you want and don't pay single cent for Epic outside of initial sales cut (which in some edge cases barelly covers store operations).
 

RedVIper

Member
Jun 13, 2017
2,960
4,131
465
Except it's not. If you sell game on Epic Store you still can use whatever payment provider you want and don't pay single cent for Epic outside of initial sales cut (which in some edge cases barelly covers store operations).
A closed platform, walled garden, or closed ecosystem is a software system wherein the carrier or service provider has control over applications, content, media and restricts convenient access to non-approved applicants or content.

Epic Store is a walled garden.
 
Last edited:

AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
May 31, 2018
6,301
13,866
785
Leeds, UK
You really don't understand most basic implication of both situations.

And yet you can't seem to explain it straight as something that the end consumer should/would actually care about. Lay it out for me if it's so simple.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RyuCookingSomeRice
Mar 19, 2015
2,844
3,325
740
More like "until they are big enough to fight Apple"


You really don't understand most basic implication of both situations.


Except it's not. If you sell game on Epic Store you still can use whatever payment provider you want and don't pay single cent for Epic outside of initial sales cut (which in some edge cases barelly covers store operations).
Its a walled garden. A closed off Ecosystem and only Epic decides what game will be on their store.

Hmm sounds familliar?
 

kuncol02

Member
Apr 4, 2020
1,315
1,447
455
A closed platform, walled garden, or closed ecosystem is a software system wherein the carrier or service provider has control over applications, content, media and restricts convenient access to non-approved applicants or content.

Epic Store is a walled garden.
Epic don't have full control over content. You can sell all types of additional content outside of their store. It's also not platform/ecosystem. It's one of many stores on existing platform.
Its a walled garden. A closed off Ecosystem and only Epic decides what game will be on their store.
It's not closed ecosystem. If choosing what you want to sell makes your store "walled garden" then every physical store is walled garden of it's own which makes that term totally meaningless.
 
Mar 19, 2015
2,844
3,325
740
Epic don't have full control over content. You can sell all types of additional content outside of their store. It's also not platform/ecosystem. It's one of many stores on existing platform.

It's not closed ecosystem. If choosing what you want to sell makes your store "walled garden" then every physical store is walled garden of it's own which makes that term totally meaningless.
It is, because you cannot put your game on their unless Epic chooses your game.

Very much unlike Steam, GOG or any other platforms on PC.
 
Last edited:

Kdad

Member
Sep 20, 2018
1,554
2,848
450
You don't see difference between content exclusivity and Apple having monopoly in all transaction on 50% of all mobile phones? Hatred for Fortnite and Epic Store blinded you so bad you don't even see who is your enemy.
Apple does not have 50% of the worldwide cell phone market.
 

kuncol02

Member
Apr 4, 2020
1,315
1,447
455
It is, because you cannot put your game on their unless Epic chooses your game.

Very much unlike Steam, GOG or any other platforms on PC.
Only on Steam you can sell whatever you want (but not really, you can still be removed from store). Every store has right to choose what they want to sell and nobody can force them to sell anything else. Gog is curated store and they rejected lots of games.

Apple does not have 50% of the worldwide cell phone market.
They have in US. That's most important market where most of money is made.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bonfires Down

Kdad

Member
Sep 20, 2018
1,554
2,848
450
Only on Steam you can sell whatever you want (but not really, you can still be removed from store). Every store has right to choose what they want to sell and nobody can force them to sell anything else. Gog is curated store and they rejected lots of games.


They have in US. That's most important market where most of money is made.
This thread is about the EU
 

AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
May 31, 2018
6,301
13,866
785
Leeds, UK
They have in US. That's most important market where most of money is made.

... What? China is just as big with significantly more device owners and not even a quarter of those people are iPhone users.
 

johntown

Member
Dec 27, 2010
3,659
2,266
945
East Coast
Not a fan of Apple but anything that could potentially cause Epic to lose money I fully support. The less money Epic has the less they can mess with PC gaming and that is all I really care about. I just want to able to play PC games from the store I choose.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Irobot82

FStubbs

Member
Aug 29, 2010
4,677
901
895
This is a larger bid by Tencent/Epic to break open walled gardens in general. If they win this case, they'll be going after the console makers next.

I don't even understand how Google is even a case since you're free to sideload Fortnite onto an Android phone - and you can sideload an EGS store onto Android phones too - and Google would get 0% of the profits.

Apple does not allow sideloading, but Apple could probably argue that - for example - they can't go open up an Apple kiosk inside of Walmart and take 100% of the profits. If they're going to sell goods inside of a Walmart store, they have to play by Walmart's rules, in which Walmart actually sells the goods and gets profits.
 
Last edited:

Sony

Nintendo
Jun 15, 2016
1,841
1,081
710
The be honest, I were to pick a side, it would be Epic. Not because I agree with their argument, but simply because I hate Apple more than Epic.