Epic Games battles to get Fortnite back to Apple

Major app developers including Epic and streaming music giant Spotify recently formed a coalition to press for new terms with the major online marketplaces operated by Apple and Google.

By   |  Published: 27th Sep 2020  7:27 pm

Epic Games will strive anew Monday to convince a judge that its hit title Fortnite should be restored to Apple’s App Store, despite sidestepping the tech titan’s standard commission on transactions.

Apple does not allow users of its popular devices to download apps from anywhere but its App Store, and Epic is challenging its practice of taking a 30 per cent cut of money spent on the apps by users. The commission dispute has also become a rallying cry for app makers who believe Apple’s App Store policies are monopolistic.

Major app developers including Epic and streaming music giant Spotify recently formed a coalition to press for new terms with the major online marketplaces operated by Apple and Google. Google runs a Play Store for apps tailored for devices powered by its Android software and also takes a commission, but people are free to get apps from other online venues.

The new Coalition for App Fairness advocacy group said it will seek legal and regulatory changes for the app stores which serve as gatekeepers for much of the mobile software distributed to smartphone users.

The move comes amid rising criticism of the fees and terms imposed by the app store, and legal challenges by both Epic and Spotify to Apple’s commission for online subscriptions.

A hearing slated for Monday before a federal judge in California will focus on whether Apple should be compelled to put Fortnite back in the App Store while an overarching lawsuit plays out.

Apple pulled Fortnite from its online mobile apps marketplace on August 13 after Epic released an update that dodges revenue sharing with the iPhone maker.