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Epic Games have dragged Apple to court in the United States, Australia and several other countries in a bid to get favourable ruling. But the public lawsuit is more intense in the United States.
It is quite unfortunate for Epic Games as the judge in charge of the Australian case resolved that the two companies will battle it out in the United States.
The legal battle between these two giants is because of Epic’s battle royal game Fortnite, and the fees Apple charges. In August, Epic set up its own in-game payments system, which bypassed Apple’s App Store payments and this deprived Apple the 30 percent commission it gets from online in-app purchases on App Store. This prompted Apple to removed Fortnite from its iOS App Store for going against its rules. However, Epic fired back with an antitrust lawsuit seeking to establish Apple’s App Store as a monopoly and tried to rally Fortnite fans with a protest video mocking Apple’s iconic “1984” ad.
In November, Epic filed a similar legal claim against Apple in Australia, saying that Apple’s conduct was “unconscionable, and breaches the Australian Consumer Law as well as various sections of the Competition and Consumer Act [of] 2010.”
Gizmodo Australia reported that the Australian case has been on hold for three months. Epic Games has to file a lawsuit in California alleging violations of Australian Consumer Law before things can move forward.
It is obvious that the Australian judge wants Epic to file its Australian case in the United States, which would see Judge Gonzalez Rogers, who is in charge of the U.S. dispute, managing both cases, prompting the case to be tried only under U.S. law. This is because both cases look familiar.
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Epic Games was given three months to file the Australian lawsuit in California else the Australian case will be dismissed.
The only way that the proceedings can be brought back to the Australian court is if Judge Gonzalez Rogers declines to determine whether Apple has violated Australian law. Epic can also appeal, but an appeal won’t be heard until November at the earliest.
Though, Epic Games said in a statement that it is determined to fight not only in Australia but also around the world.
We remain committed to our fight for increased competition on digital platforms in Australia and around the world. Australian consumers have the right to install apps from the sources they choose and avoid paying excessive prices for apps. We will continue supporting the Australian government and regulators in their pursuit of fair competition in mobile app marketplaces.
Regardless of Epic’s decision on the Australia case, it is currently on hold while the legal battle plays out in the United States. The court proceedings between Epic Games and Apple will be carried out in court on May 3.
Epic’s battle would have also been in the UK but UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal declined the lawsuit pushing it back to the United States similar to what happened in Austrslia. The case can only resume in the UK if the U.S. courts decline to rule on relief in the United States As in Australia. Epic has also appealed to the European Commission, but we are yet to hear of any ruling from the EU.