One of the world’s largest video game makers Epic Games has filed a formal antitrust complaint against Apple to the European Commission, claiming the Silicon Valley giant imposes unviable burdens, like its 30 percent fee on some App Store purchases, on rivals.
“The 30 percent they charge as their app tax, they can make it 50 percent or 90 percent or 100 percent. Under their theory of how these markets are structured, they have every right to do that,” Epic Games founder and Chief Executive Tim Sweeney said.
“Epic is not asking any court or regulator to change this 30% to some other number, only to restore competition on IOS,” he said, referring to Apple’s mobile operating system.
The two companies have been locked in a legal battle since August, after the game maker tried to sidestep the fee by implementing its own in-app payments.
Apple, on the other hand, maintains that its rules apply equally to all developers and that Epic violated them.
“In ways a judge has described as deceptive and clandestine, Epic enabled a feature in its app, which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store,” the company stated, adding that “their reckless behaviour made pawns of customers.” The company stressed it looks forward to delivering this message to the European Commission.
In July last year, another tech company Telegram, filed an official complaint to EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager regarding Apple’s App Store rules. The messaging service also slammed the App Store for monopolistic behaviour, arguing that the 30 percent commission on in-app purchases charged by Apple was excessive.
The EU's executive body is currently investigating Apple in several probes concerning the terms and conditions of using the company's Apple Pay payment platform and App Store. Apple slammed the European Commission for looking into "baseless" complaints.
In November, however, Apple said it would reduce the commission rate to 15 percent for any developer that earns less than $1 million in annual revenue.