Battle Royale Looms After Apple, Google Drop Fortnite

Epic Games slaps both firms with lawsuits
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2020 8:04 AM CDT

Apple and Google dropped "Fortnite" from their app stores Thursday over a dispute about in-game currency, and it soon became apparent that the makers of the hit game had been gearing up for a legal battle. Within hours of the move, Epic Games filed 60-page lawsuits against both companies, and Epic's legal team includes Christine Varney, who ran the Obama-era Justice Department's antitrust division, CNN reports. The lawsuit against Apple accuses the company of "flexing its enormous power in order to impose unreasonable restraints and unlawfully maintain its 100% monopoly over the iOS in-app payment processing market." Epic also released a parody of Apple's famous "1984" ad, casting Apple as the villain and urging viewers to #FreeFortnite.

In the lawsuit against Google, which removed the game from the Google Play store hours after Apple pulled it from the App Store, Epic says the company's "Don't be evil" motto has become an "afterthought" and it "is using its size to do evil upon competitors, innovators, customers, and users in a slew of markets it has grown to monopolize." The dispute began after Epic offered "Fortnite" players a 20% discount on in-game currency if they bought it directly from the company, which violated Google and Apple rules. In the lawsuits, Epic says it is fighting to make the app stores fairer for all developers and isn't seeking compensation, though the BBC notes that with Google and Apple taking a 30% cut of all purchases, Epic stands to make tens of millions of dollars if it can bypass them. (Read more Fortnite stories.)

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