Video game maker Fortnite has suffered a setback in its global legal campaign against Apple after the UK competition court denied it permission to challenge the iPhone maker’s enforcement rules.
Mr. Justice Roth mentionned The case of Epic Games seeking a wave of major changes in Apple’s App Store giant belonged to the US courts, where the company has a separate claim. However, he allowed a similar action against Google to partially continue in the UK.
Epic, whose title Fortnite is one of the greatest video games in the world, has fought a legal battle on several fronts against Apple, seeking to break what it says is the company’s unfair grip on how iPhone apps are distributed.
Apple controls which apps can be installed on iPhones and iPads through its App Store, and charges up to 30pc on purchases made in those apps, while Google has similar restrictions for Android phones.
Fortnite was started the Apple and Google platforms last year after Epic sought to bypass corporate payment systems, triggering a monopoly lawsuit against the two from the video game maker.
Epic is demanding injunctions that would allow rival app stores on smartphones and app developers to use alternative payment methods, which would rob Apple and Google of billions of dollars in revenue.
The company took the case to the Competition Appeal Tribunal in December, seeking similar relief under UK competition law.
On Monday, the judge said: “The United States is an appropriate forum for this dispute. And I am far from being convinced that [the UK] is clearly or clearly the most appropriate forum. However, he opened up the possibility of Epic suing Apple in the UK if it fails in US courts.
He allowed parts of a case against Google, including an effort to break its control over app payments, to continue as Epic’s case against Google included an Irish subsidiary and the case had been launched during the Brexit transition period.
Epic has indicated that it is likely to stay its UK action against Apple until the US lawsuit ends. “We are pleased that the court has allowed Epic to continue our action against Google in the UK,” a spokesperson said. “Epic will reconsider continuing its case against Apple in the UK after the US case is resolved.”
Epic noted that the court said there were “serious issues to be tried” under UK law and said it was “steadfast in our commitment to end anti-competitive practices by Apple and Google. “. Apple and Google did not comment.
Epic also complained about EU competition regulators and sued Apple in Australia.