Epic Games Sues Apple

erek

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"Epic brings this suit to end Apple's unfair and anti-competitive actions that Apple undertakes to unlawfully maintain its monopoly in two distinct, multibillion dollar markets: (i) the iOS App Distribution Market, and (ii) the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market. Epic is not seeking monetary compensation from this Court for the injuries it has suffered. Nor is Epic seeking favorable treatment for itself, a single company. Instead, Epic is seeking injunctive relief to allow fair competition in these two key markets that directly affect hundreds of millions of consumers and tens of thousands, if not more, of third-party app developers.[....]

Contrast this anti-competitive harm with how similar markets operate on Apple's own Mac computers. Mac users can download virtually any software they like, from any source they like. Developers are free to offer their apps through the Mac computer App Store, a third-party store, through direct download from the developer's website, or any combination thereof. Indeed, on Macs, Epic distributes Fortnite through its own storefront, which competes with other third-party storefronts available to Mac users. App developers are free to use Apple's payment processing services, thee payment processing services of third parties, or the developers' own payment processing service; users are offered their choice of different payment processing options (e.g., PayPal, Amazon, and Apple). The result is that consumers and developers alike have choices, competition is thriving, prices drop, and innovation is enhanced. The process should be no different for Apple's mobile devices. But Apple has chosen to make it different by imposing contractual and technical restrictions that prevent any competition and increase consumer costs for every app and in-app content purchase -- restrictions that it could never impose on Macs, where it does not enjoy the same dominance in the sale of devices. It doesn't have to be like this. [...]

Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation. Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched, and more pernicious than the monopolists of yesteryear. At a market cap of nearly $2 trillion, Apple's size and reach far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history."


https://cdn2.unrealengine.com/apple-complaint-734589783.pdf
 

Grimlakin

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Meh I'm not against epic doing this. But... it will lead to more malware on iOS devices. Especially if Apple is forced to open up it's walled garden and allow 'sideloading' of applications by the uninformed users. "You mean I get to see hoo haaas and taa taas if I install this thing and agree to the warning that it could be bad? I'M ALL IN BABY!" (admittedly it's one example.)
 

erek

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Update 4:05pm ET: In a video message premiering in Fortnite's own Party Royale mode, Epic wrote that it has "defied the App Store Monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices. Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming '1984.'"


Update 3:45pm ET: Less than an hour after Fortnite was removed from the iOS App Store, Epic announced it has filed a complaint for injunctive relief with a Northern District of California federal court.

The 61-page document makes reference to Apple's famous 1984 Macintosh ad, arguing that today, "Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation. Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched, and more pernicious than the monopolists of yesteryear. At a market cap of nearly $2 trillion, Apple’s size and reach far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history."

Epic is seeking an injunction against Apple's "anti-competitive conduct" and a decision finding that Apple's developer terms regarding App Store approval and in-app purchases are "unenforceable."

Update 3:04pm ET: Apple removed Fortnite from appearing on the iOS App Store by 2:50pm. As of 3pm, the game still remains available on Google's Play Store.


 

GoodBoy

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Not that I have any love for Apple, but Android phones and iPhones I believe are about evenly split in marketshare.

Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation. Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched, and more pernicious than the monopolists of yesteryear...

This quote seems the most valid reason for the lawsuit, and maybe it really is a valid point if the marketshare goes something like 50% apple, 10% samsung, 9% LG, 9% HTC,,.. etc etc with all of the other players taking small bites of the total, but apple being 5x the size of the next nearest competitor.
 

DukenukemX

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Epic isn't wrong but isn't exactly too different from Apple. Also in before Apple fanboys defend Apple's walled garden.

A-true-Apple-Fanboy.jpg
 

Newbie_52

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Not that I have any love for Apple, but Android phones and iPhones I believe are about evenly split in marketshare.



This quote seems the most valid reason for the lawsuit, and maybe it really is a valid point if the marketshare goes something like 50% apple, 10% samsung, 9% LG, 9% HTC,,.. etc etc with all of the other players taking small bites of the total, but apple being 5x the size of the next nearest competitor.

Actually it's not even close, Android has over 80% market share. Probably due to availability of cheaper phones and multiple companies making Android phones.
 

KarsusTG

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Actually it's not even close, Android has over 80% market share. Probably due to availability of cheaper phones and multiple companies making Android phones.

That is true, but when you break it down by country it can be interesting. I didn't realize that iOS is more prevalent in the US than android. Not by a great deal, but by enough.
 

GoldenTiger

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That is true, but when you break it down by country it can be interesting. I didn't realize that iOS is more prevalent in the US than android. Not by a great deal, but by enough.
While Android has a much bigger global market share, the revenue from each favors Apple for the marketplace for developers.
 
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Epic games: bribes developers with exclusivity contracts, keeping games off the Steam, GOG, etc for upto a year.

Also Epic: whines when Apple has exclusivity over their own devices.

By "Bribe" Do you mean fund? Or just generally not screwing them as hard as Valve does?

Exclusives are BS, but I get the strategy. Valve has abused an effective monopoly, breaking a monopoly is a mammoth task.
 

sboucher

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This goes much deeper than just Epic's whining about Apple taking a huge cut. Apple is blocking apps for no other reason than it competes with their own products or services.

Remember when Microsoft wasn't even allowed to bundle their own fucking internet browser with windows anymore? It baffles my mind why Apple continues to get away with all the anticompetitive shit they do.
 

odditory

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Valve has exclusives too. I mean, can you buy Half-Life Alyx on GOG?
Unless you're being intentionally obtuse, It shouldn't be difficult to see a distinction between a firstparty game developed in-house, versus monitoring a competing store's most-wishlisted games and then offering the publisher/developer a big bag of cash if they remove that game from that store and put it only on EGS. The latter is what gets Epic most of the hate.

Epic isn't "funding games" - they're funneling Fortnite profits extracted from little kids into bribes to keep games off of Steam and GOG, oftentines right before a game was set to release on Steam and had soaked up months or years of free advertising there.
 
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deruberhanyok

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It baffles my mind why Apple continues to get away with all the anticompetitive shit they do.

I think there’s a big difference between Microsoft having like 90% of the PC market and Apple having like 20% of the smartphone market

just because Apple makes a lot of money doesn’t mean they’re a monopoly. Although they are the only game in town if you want Apple products.
 

ChadD

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No love for either player and not a lot of sympathy for Epic.... or any of the Apple store developers really. 30% for not having to deal with distribution and getting mostly free marketing if you have a popular app isn't all that unreasonable. Try making a real product and selling it anywhere in any real world market and not have to pay far more then 30%. 30% sounds nuts to people that are not entrepreneurial... any one that has ever started or ran a business of any size understand 30% is reasonable. In general you want to try and make 50 points on everything. No physical manufacturer would be all that upset about having to sell their products at only 30% under retail... and for the most part they would still be on the hook for packaging, shipping, marketing ect ect.

Having said all that the costs for Apple and Google in launching store fronts and build out are long behind them.... perhaps its time to throw developers a bone. (and probably that time was 2 years back already) at this point they probably waited to long and now will find themselves in court at exactly the worst time for their walled garden scheme. Chances are they are going to be forced to open their mobile OS... and likely change a bunch of rules governing their own store and its OS tie ins... I have no doubt the US gov has not will to force them to split their business units apart, but for sure there going to impose some new rules.

The battle should be fun... Epic clearly already has their marketing dept on top of things. That 1984 parity is hilarious, and almost has me cheering for them. Who doesn't love the underdog?? I guess that is Epics role? lol
Really Apple should have seen this coming with all in game purchases being forced through them and should have implemented a sliding scale years ago.... where at specific volume targets royalty rates dropped. I doubt highly Epic would really be fighting anything if Fortnight had hit some magic volume targets and was getting charged 15% instead. Apples greed is probably going to bury them on this one.

It really is funny... the worm eaten Apple dude alone has me howling.

 
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odditory

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30% for not having to deal with distribution and getting mostly free marketing if you have a popular app isn't all that unreasonable. Try making a real product and selling it anywhere in any real world market and not have to pay far more then 30%. 30% sounds nuts to people that are not entrepreneurial... any one that has ever started or ran a business of any size understand 30% is reasonable. In general you want to try and make 50 points on everything. No physical manufacturer would be all that upset about having to sell their products at only 30% under retail... and for the most part they would still be on the hook for packaging, shipping, marketing ect ect.
Yep. The industry-standard 30% is the fee that developers are happy to pay to get access to a massive userbase (translation: SALES VOLUME) - the fee is an expression of the store's market size (Steam, Apple App Store, Google Play, Xbox, PS4, whatever). The problem is, Epic wants App Store money without App Store effort. They want Steam money without Steam effort. They feel entitled to walk into other companies' marketplaces that cost billions to set up and maintain, and pay nothing to just start selling to those userbases.

I can't walk into a Walmart or Costco and set up a table and start selling my own clothing or electronics in there- "hey man the store already paid for itself long ago. What is this, 1984?" And yet this is exactly what Epic believes it should be entitled to do. So they're going to bleed even more money fighting an unwinnable battle against Apple - fuckem.
 

ChadD

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Yep. The industry-standard 30% is the fee that developers are happy to pay to get access to a massive userbase (translation: SALES VOLUME) - the fee is an expression of the store's market size (Steam, Apple App Store, Google Play, Xbox, PS4, whatever). The problem is, Epic wants App Store money without App Store effort. They want Steam money without Steam effort. They feel entitled to walk into other companies' marketplaces that cost billions to set up and maintain, and pay nothing to just start selling to those userbases.

I can't walk into a Walmart or Costco and set up a table and start selling my own clothing or electronics in there- "hey man the store already paid for itself long ago. What is this, 1984?" And yet this is exactly what Epic believes it should be entitled to do. So they're going to bleed even more money fighting an unwinnable battle against Apple - fuckem.

Can't say I disagree on your Epic take. I guess the only real difference in this case is apple is running the ONLY store on a block that they own in a city they built with users not allowed to leave. The court rules that applied to microsoft in the late 90s are what is in Apples future I think. At some point you get forced to allow someone else to open a store in your city... and likely forced to not screw with them.

Epic will not win this one cause your right.... you can't just pop up your stand in store you don't own. Of course Apple isn't going to "win" either... Epic knows the situation there in. There not going to be able to defend the walled software garden setup. Changes are going to happen on that front. It seems to me Epic mostly is doing this for the PR factor... what Epic really wants clearly is to launch the Epic game store on mobile operating systems.
 
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Jim Kim

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In 1984, the fledgling Apple computer company released the Macintosh—the first mass-market, consumer-friendly home computer. The product launch was announced with a breathtaking advertisement evoking George Orwell’s 1984 that cast Apple as a beneficial, revolutionary force breaking IBM’s monopoly over the computing technology market. Apple’s founder Steve Jobs introduced the first showing of the 1984 advertisement by explaining, “it appears IBM wants it all. Apple is perceived to be the only hope to offer IBM a run for its money . . . . Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer industry? The entire information age? Was George Orwell right about 1984?”

Fast forward to 2020, and Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation. Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched, and more pernicious than the monopolists of yesteryear. At a market cap of nearly $2 trillion, Apple’s size and reach far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history.


Gonna need a bigger boat popcorn bowl.🍿
 

odditory

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Can't say I disagree on your Epic take. I guess the only real difference in this case is apple is running the ONLY store on a block that they own in a city they built with users not allowed to leave. The court rules that applied to microsoft in the late 90s are what is in Apples future I think. At some point you get forced to allow someone else to open a store in your city... and likely forced to not screw with them.

Epic will not win this one cause your right.... you can't just pop up your stand in store you don't own. Of course Apple isn't going to "win" either... Epic knows the situation there in. There not going to be able to defend the walled software garden setup. Changes are going to happen on that front. It seems to me Epic mostly is doing this for the PR factor... what Epic really wants clearly is to launch the Epic game store on mobile operating systems.

This drama boils down to a tantrum disguised as a publicity stunt on the part of Epic. Apple has essentially infinite resources to metagame the result they want and maintain the status quo. They will bend the legal system itself if necessary. But I don't think it will be; Epic has already lost, they will pay Apple's fee and move on unless Tim's suicidal.

Fortnite revenue on iOS is a drop in the bucket relative to overall App Store revenue, so Apple's focus won't be on swatting away Epic and Sweeney, so much as avoiding a precedent being set and the floodgates opening to every company believing they too are entitled to creating their own store for iOS devices.
 
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sleepeeg3

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What is your other choice? Android? Also a monopoly for it's ecosystem. It censors apps as well.

The US has anti-trust laws to prevent oligopolies like this from existing - they are not enforced. The problem is, what if you do breakup Google or Apple and some multinational conglomerate takes its place? What is the answer to stop one company from eventually taking over everything? Anyone have any good ideas?
 

Zarathustra[H]

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LMFAO.

That's rich.

The company that bribes game studios with millions of dollars to be the exclusive outlet for their titles is suing someone else for noncompetitive practices.

They should sue themselves.
 
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ChadD

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This drama boils down to a tantrum disguised as a publicity stunt on the part of Epic. Apple has essentially infinite resources to metagame the result they want and maintain the status quo. They will bend the legal system itself if necessary. But I don't think it will be; Epic has already lost, they will pay Apple's fee and move on unless Tim's suicidal.

Fortnite revenue on iOS is a drop in the bucket relative to overall App Store revenue, so Apple's focus won't be on swatting away Epic and Sweeney, so much as avoiding a precedent being set and the floodgates opening to every company believing they too are entitled to creating their own store for iOS devices.

Legal cases are only too expensive to continue when your poor. Epic is not poor. Contrary to popular thought there is no such thing as throwing so much money at a case as to win in no matter what. Yes you can muscle around some small players that can' afford multi year multi million dollar legal fees... but that doesn't describe Epic. They can easily throw a couple million a year at a case against Apple... and no matter if Apple spends the same to defend it or decides to hire 1,000 lawyers the costs to Epic won't change. Nor will the results.... also contrary to popular belief 10 lawyers are no less libel to win or loose a case then 1,000. Scare tactics of you can't afford to sue us only work if the target really can't afford it. Epic can.

Besides of which YES Epic is looking to create a precedent... and more importantly there looking to influence the government legal teams currently looking at breaking up both mobile walled gardens. Anyone that thinks in 5 years Apples store will be the only store on iOS is probably dreaming. Google and Apple both are going to have punitive rules imposed on their stores... Epic is just trying to win some more public approval to ensure that happens sooner rather then later. They want to have Epic stores on both platforms. There is also a real chance Apple will also be facing suits from Microsoft and Amazon shortly with pretty much the same theme. (the irony that MS will be suing another company to allow them access to THEIR OS is rich... but it is 2020 lol)
 
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odditory

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Less of a case against Google since you can still sideload Fortshite or sideload an EGS Android store. Hell, Epic can go nuts and create their own fork of Android focused on gaming. But they won't because they don't want to actually put work in. Look at EGS, after two years it's still barebones with no shopping cart and search is still broken. It's just a free games launcher at this point.

Apple and Google have to draw the line somewhere or every app would just make itself "free", with an internal direct payment option to unlock full functionality.
 
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GoldenTiger

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What is your other choice? Android? Also a monopoly for it's ecosystem. It censors apps as well.

The US has anti-trust laws to prevent oligopolies like this from existing - they are not enforced. The problem is, what if you do breakup Google or Apple and some multinational conglomerate takes its place? What is the answer to stop one company from eventually taking over everything? Anyone have any good ideas?
You can make your own store on Android unlike with apple's ios. Amazon did. Epic has fortnite available directly on Android.
 

cybereality

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Yeah, after reading all the articles, it's kind of BS. Epic can afford to give them their 30%.
 
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paraphrased: Epic upset that Apple takes a cut of App Store sales, files lawsuit so they can keep selling digital hats to kids using their parents’ credit cards without letting Apple in on it.

Epic/Tencent is salty because Apple won't give them access to personal data/transaction information.
I am no fan of Apple's ecosystem lockdown, but at least they take a hard stance on protecting their users' privacy and data.
 
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Deleted member 243478

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Meh fuck epic... It is Apples platform so they call the shots and should get commission for managing everything. Everyone seems to gloss over the fact that Apple secure the payment process also, allowing 3rd party payment systems is just asking for trouble and developers trying to sneak shit in to harvest user data and microtransactions.

At least when Apple control it, you know its secure. You cant just walk onto Apples property and setup your own lemonade stand while taking a shit on their lawn...
 
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