Having launched a claim against Apple in the US in August 2020, Epic Games, creator of gaming hit Fortnite, has now launched competition claims against both Google and Apple in the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”).
Both claims are claims for damages for breach of competition law, brought under section 47A of the Competition Act 1998.
According to the summaries of claim, published on the CAT website on 14 January 2021, the claims are based on Google and Apple allegedly abusing a their dominant positions by removing the Fortnite app from the their app store platforms, Google Play Store and the Apple App Store respectively, following the introduction of a mechanism for Fortnite users to make direct in-app purchases, without using the Google or Apple payment processing mechanisms.
The claims also allege that the relevant contractual agreements for app developers are unlawful under Article 101 of the Treaty for the Functioning of the EU and/or Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998.
The claims fall amid rising scrutiny on the tech giants, in particular in light of the CMA announcing an investigation into Google’s ‘Privacy Sandbox’ browser changes and a series of cases launched in the US against Google in the last few months of 2020, one of which pointed to the alleged business relationship between Apple and Google. Apple has also been under scrutiny in the EU regarding practices related to the App Store, following Spotify and Rakuten filing complaints with the European Commission.
Please contact Tim Cowen, Chair, Antitrust Practice, if you have any questions about the above cases, or competition law more generally.