'Fortnite' maker sues Apple over app restrictions

'Fortnite' maker sues Apple over app restrictions

Spectators are seen at the 2019 Fortnite World Cup Finals in New York City in July 2019.
Spectators are seen at the 2019 Fortnite World Cup Finals in New York City in July 2019.

SAN FRANCISCO - The maker of video game sensation "Fortnite" on Thursday sued Apple for the way it rules over the App Store, accusing the iPhone maker of wielding monopoly power.

Epic Games called on a federal judge to order Apple to stop its "anti-competitive conduct" and invalidate the tech giant's rules requiring app developers to pay 30 percent of transactions as the price of doing business in the App Store.

The suit was filed the same day Apple booted Fortnite from the online marketplace, after Epic added a payment system that let player transactions bypass the App Store system, saving money in the process.

"Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation," the lawsuit argued.

"Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched, and more pernicious than the monopolists of yesteryear."

Apple has in recent months come under fire for the tight grip it has on the App Store, which is the sole source of applications for its popular mobile devices.

The Silicon Valley colossus has defended its position as needed to keep applications, and by extension users, safe from hackers and scammers, claiming that the 30 percent fee on transactions is a legitimate for minding the shop.

Epic's suit, however, accuses Apple of unreasonably restraining trade.

Epic said it is not seeking money or favorable treatment, but instead asking the court order the Apple store rule to be changed for all developers.

Fortnite has been played some 350 million people around the world since its release in 2017 -- a game where players in a virtual world must survive by searching for weapons and resources while eliminating competitors.

It is also a popular e-sports title in which spectators watch experts players and personalities compete, in some cases for cash prizes.

"Apple imposes unreasonable and unlawful restraints to completely monopolize both markets and prevent software developers from reaching the over one billion users of its mobile devices unless they go through a single store controlled by Apple," the suited contended.

"Where Apple exacts an oppressive 30 percent tax on the sale of every app."

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