Australian federal court gives Epic lawsuit against Apple the green light – ARCHIVE

Australian federal court gives Epic lawsuit against Apple the green light

Apple has lost its bid to get a lawsuit filed by Epic Games dismissed in Australia, one of several fronts where the Fortnite developer and publisher is suing the iOS owner for unfair business practices. Because Epic also sued Apple in the U.S., the iPhone and iPad maker argued that the Australian action should be stopped in favor of the U.S. trial. The Australian federal court agreed, and in April gave Apple a stay, but Epic filed an appeal. 

On Friday, the federal court overturned that ruling, giving the green light for a trial to proceed. Apple said in a statement that it would appeal the decision because in its contract with Epic it stipulates that any litigation must take place in California.

Epic sued Apple in November 2020 in Australia claiming that Apple’s control of its Apple App Store is in breach of Australian Consumer Law and the Competition and Consumer Act. Epic claimed in its complaint that Apple is illegally forcing it and other companies to use only the app store and other mechanisms tied to it like Apple Pay (its in-app payment system), thereby charging 10-30% commissions on each transaction.

Epic’s three-week-long antitrust lawsuit against Apple in a California court wrapped up at the end of May and is now in the hands of U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who said at the time that a ruling would happen sometime in August or sooner.

In August of 2020, Epic added an in-game link to buy content for its Fortnite mobile game, circumventing both, the Apple App Store and Google Play – Google’s app store for Android mobile devices. Apple determined that this was an attempt by Epic to avoid paying the platform holder a commission on each sale, and after a testy back-and-forth email exchange, Apple banned Fortnite from its platform. Epic filed a lawsuit shortly thereafter; first in an attempt to get the app reinstated, and also to take aim at Apple in court over its app store practices.