Apple Inc. has filed a countersuit against Epic Games Inc., the creator of the popular Fortnite franchise. Epic Games originally brought suit against Apple on August 13, alleging unfair practices and anti-competitiveness claims.
These claims stem from the 30% tax that is charged to software companies who sell their “in-game” upgrades/purchases through the Apple App Store. Epic relies on in-game purchases for its revenue, since Fortnite, its flagship game, is free to download. Epic also points out that for their personal computers, software developers are only charged a 3% fee for in-game purchases which makes the 30% fee for mobile purchases even more outrageous. On August 13, Epic added a direct payment method to its app and gave a 20% discount to consumers who chose direct payment. Apple then took the app down and it has not been in the App Store since. Epic seeks an injunction against Apple to prevent it from charging such exorbitant prices.
On Tuesday, Apple countersued for breach of contract. They say that when Epic Games uploaded the app with the direct payment they breached the contract they had with the App Store which required that in-app purchases be made via Apple’s system. They say that Apple has put in a lot of effort, and innovation to the platform which is why they charge a fee. Finally, Apple denies claims that they have created a monopoly or unfair competition environment, because companies such as Epic can still sell their apps and in-game purchases via other platforms. In fact, they point out that Fortnite is available on six platforms other than Apple’s App Store. Apple asks that the court give them compensatory and punitive damages for the breach of contract.