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Epic Games: Apple Not Complying With Outside Payment Rules

Epic Games app and Apple App Store

Apple said earlier this month it would open its App Store to permit outside payment options.

However, Epic Games — which has been battling the iPhone maker in court for the last three years — says that Apple has not yet properly complied with a court order that prompted the tech giant’s decision.

That’s according to a Tuesday (Jan. 30) Bloomberg News report, which cited a court filing by Epic, maker of the popular Fortnite game.

PYMNTS has contacted Apple for comment but has not yet received a reply.

The legal war fight between Apple and Epic began in 2020, when Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic developed a workaround to avoid paying the 30% fee on customers’ in-app purchases.

The case went to trial in May 2021, with the companies debating both the App Store policies and the question of whether Apple hinders competition.

The matter made it to a federal appeals court, which ruled that while Apple’s business model didn’t violate antitrust laws, it had broken California’s Unfair Competition Law by limiting developers’ ability to tell users about alternate, and potentially less costly, payment systems.

Apple took the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court on Jan. 16 refused to take up the case, letting the appeals court ruling stand.

After that, Apple said it would let third-party apps sold in the U.S. include a link to a developer website for in-app purchases. The company still asks developers to reimburse it with commissions of up to 27% on purchases made outside its App Store.

According to the Bloomberg report, Epic said in court documents that it “disputes Apple’s compliance” with the judge’s order, and said it will offer more details on the “non-compliance” in a future filing.

However, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney offered some indication of the company’s position after Apple introduced the 27% commission policy.

“Apple has never done this before, and it kills price competition,” Sweeney wrote on X.  “Developers can’t offer digital items more cheaply on the web after paying a third-party payment processor 3-6% and paying this new 27% Apple Tax … Epic will contest Apple’s bad-faith compliance plan in District Court.”

Meanwhile, Apple could also soon be the target of a U.S Justice Department antitrust investigation, according to published reports from earlier this month.