And the saga continues: Fortnite maker Epic Games claims Apple is impeding its attempts to set up a games store on iPhones and iPads in Europe, reports Reuters.

The article says Epic accuses Apple of twice rejecting documents it submitted to launch the Epic Games Store because the design of certain buttons and labels was similar to those used by the Apple App Store. “Apple’s rejection is arbitrary, obstructive, and in violation of the DMA (Digital Markets Act), and we’ve shared our concerns with the European Commission,” Epic claims.

This is part of a never-ending legal battle in both Europe and the U.S.. In April, Epic Games convinced a US District Court to order a hearing over its assertion that Apple is failing to comply with the games company’s one App Store victory.

The Fortnite maker wants the court to hold Apple in contempt, to correctly update its policies, and to remove all of its new anti-steering provisions. The next hearing will be May 8.

On March 13, Epic asked a federal judge to hold Apple in contempt of court over its failure to properly comply with a court order to open its App Store to outside payment options. In response, an Apple spokesperson sent AppleInsider extracts from its formal Statement of Compliance. It begins with a claim that “As of January 16, 2024, Apple has fully complied with the Injunction,” and details how it has changed its previous rules on developers contacting customers directly.

The global legal battle between the two companies goes back to Aug. 13, 2020, when Epic Games announced that it had introduced a new direct payment option in the Fortnite app for iPhone and iPad, allowing players to purchase 1000 V-Bucks for US$7.99 rather than $9.99 through Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism. Shortly thereafter, Apple removed the gamer from the App Store for violating store polices and followed up by shutting down the company’s developer account.  

Epic immediately filed a lawsuit against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.In September 2020 Apple filed a countersuit to stop the game maker from using its own payment system for Fortnite. Apple also accused Epic of theft and sought extra monetary damages beyond breach of contract. 

In September 2021, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that Apple’s anti-steering conduct is anti-competitive, but ruled in favor of Apple on all other counts.

In a 185-page ruling, Rogers said “the Court cannot ultimately conclude that Apple is a monopolist under either federal or state antitrust laws,” but she said the trial “did show that Apple is engaging in anticompetitive conduct under California’s competition laws.” Rogers concluded that “Apple’s anti-steering provisions hide critical information from consumers and illegally stifle consumer choice.” 

She ruled that Epic Games had to pay damages equal to 30% of the $12,167,719 in revenue that it collected from users in the Fortnite app on iOS through the direct payment option between August 2020 and October 2020, plus 30% of any such revenue Epic Games collected from November 1, 2020, through the date of judgment, plus interest. 

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today