The battle between Apple and Epic is beginning to assume the proportions of a world war as Epic Games files claims in the UK, much as it has in the US and Australia.
In a pair of notices published yesterday, the British Competition Appeal Tribunal revealed that Epic filed its claims back in December against Apple and Google. The allegations and demands for relief are essentially the same as the ones made in other legal filings, citing British anti-competition laws instead of US anti-trust law. Specifically, the claims were filed under a section of the Competition Act of 1998, and Epic asserts that Apple and Google are both violating the Competition Act and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
As reported in Gamesindustry.biz, Epic has released a statement regarding its claims. “We believe that this is an important argument to make on behalf of consumers and developers in the UK and around the world who are impacted by Apple and Google’s misuse of market power,” said VP of Communications and Policy Tera Randall. “Epic is not seeking damages from Apple or Google in the UK, Australia or the US, it is simply seeking fair access and competition that will benefit all consumers.”
Apple has released their own statement on the matter, saying in part, “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 guidelines that apply equally to every developer and protect customers. Their reckless behavior made pawns of customers, and we look forward to making this clear to courts in the UK.”
Google has, as of the time of this writing, not yet commented.
Food For Thought
By filing suit in the UK, and charging that Apple and Google have violated not only British law but EU law as well, it may be Epic is trying to kill two birds with one stone. A win in the UK for violating the TFEU would certainly provide precedent for the EU to go after Apple and Google for anticompetitive behavior. However, given the Brexit vote to leave the EU, it’s possible Epic may have overplayed its hand in this instance.