Epic’s campaign against Apple monopoly takes major step forward with U.S. antitrust lawsuit

The United States Department of Justice has filed an antitrust lawsuit against tech giant Apple, claiming that the company has created an illegal monopoly over the smartphone market.

Epic Games has been one of the most vocal adversaries of what they call Apple’s monopoly over mobile devices and has engaged the tech giant in various legal battles and disputes in recent years. Epic and founder Tim Sweeney have been at the forefront of appealing to various international regulatory bodies to step in, with the U.S. finally making its biggest move yet.

The United States Department of Justice announcement of antitrust lawsuit versus Apple, featuring comments from Attorney General Merrick Garland.
The Attorney General weighs in on the lawsuit. Screenshot from @TheJusticeDept on X.

Per the official press release from the U.S. DOJ, the lawsuit alleges that Apple “undermines apps, products, and services that would otherwise make users less reliant on the iPhone, promote interoperability, and lower costs for consumers and developers.” Additionally, the DOJ claims that Apple’s monopoly permits them to “extract more money from consumers, developers, content creators, artists, publishers, small businesses, and merchants.”

Specifically, the lawsuit states that Apple has disrupted the growth of apps that feature innovative cross-platform functionality (and thus limiting users to apps that work best or only on iPhones), utilize cloud streaming, or offer third-party digital wallet support.

For Epic Games and the DOJ, the “smoking gun,” so to speak, has been the fees that Apple extracts from developers and consumers on the official App Store. Epic’s dispute with Apple started in 2020 because Epic wanted to provide players a way to make in-app purchases that didn’t go through the App Store and its 30 percent commission. When Epic added the option to bypass Apple to Fortnite, both the game and the developer were removed and blocked from the App Store. Epic itself filed an antitrust suit versus Apple in 2021, but the judge ruled that Apple was not in violation of antitrust laws.

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