Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/46539625375/

Epic Games, the makers of the super popular game Fortnite, is not one iota happy that Apple decided to remove their game from the App Store.

Almost everyone agrees that apps that infringe on intellectual rights, copyrights, support illegal activity and the like can and should be removed from the App Store.

But what about apps that have fallen out of the good graces of Apple?

Can Apple illegally remove an app? Lawmanaging wants to know.

The Issue

The reason Apple has given for ditching Fortnite is violating App Store rules.

In a statement to The Verge they said:

Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result their Fortnite app has been removed from the store. 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 guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services.

apple App Store

But what exactly did Epic Games do?

Epic Games made it possible for users to purchase V-Bucks directly from Epic, which means that users wouldn’t have to go through Apple when playing Fortnite on mobile devices.

Apple is hopeful that the removal will not be permanent. They are willing to work toward resolving the violations to App Store guidelines.

The Legal Case

It didn’t take long after being removed from the App Store before Epic filed a legal claim against Apple.

Epic says that there are problems with the App Store’s monetization. Epic’s claim also asserts that Apple has a monopoly power in the iOS distribution market and the iOS in-app payment processing market. Apple has a 30% fee on downloads. And Epic Games has 350 million users.

This lawsuit seems to come amidst lawmakers and regulators putting Apple under the microscope for its fees.

What Epic is looking to do is put an end to the monopolistic practices and have Apple split the fees with alternate tech giant, Google.

Epic Games is not looking for compensation, but an injunction. There are billions of dollars at stake for Apple, so the situation looks more favorable for Epic than Apple.

Google Play Store

Google has also removed Fortnite from the Play Store due to Epic Games violating clear and pre-established rules. And it should also be noted that Epic Games has also filed a legal claim against Google citing many of the same problems.

In fact, the claims are nearly identical. Google also charges 30% fees to developers. This fight has the potential to become a class-action suit.

We’ll have to wait for the litigious dust to settle before learning the fate of Epic Games and Apple.

Epic is alleging the tech giant is violating the Sherman Act and California’s Cartwright Act. This decision will have far reaching implications within the tech industry.

If it is proven Apple removed the game illegally, Fortnite will likely be available for downloads and updates again.