Epic vs. Apple: Green light for litigation in Australia

The big app store litigation between Epic Games and Apple continues on another scene: The highest court in Australia has denied Apple’s motion to stay the competition lawsuit in the country, according to a statement from the Federal Court of Australia.

Apple’s application to the High Court was rejected with costs, is only noted there. Apple has again failed to stop the competition lawsuit in Australia early.

Apple insisted in the Australian case from the beginning that the developer agreement concluded with Epic stipulates that a lawsuit between the two companies must be heard in California. A first Australian judge followed this line of argument, but the proceedings were then continued.

The reason was apparently an intervention by the Australian competition authority, which is already demanding extensive app store changes – both from Apple and Google. The lawsuit deals with fundamental questions of public interest regarding the behavior of the Australian Apple subsidiary, the court said.

Epic accuses Apple of abusing its market power with the app store rules. This involves both the general isolation of the platform from the free distribution of software and special requirements, such as the use of Apple’s own payment interface – and the associated commission. Ultimately, Epic’s goal is to be able to bring its own app store to iPhones and iPads and to sell apps there on its own terms.

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In the US, Epic’s competition lawsuit failed in almost all counts in the first instance: Apple is “not a monopoly violating antitrust law” in the “market for transactions in mobile games,” ruled the judge. According to the court, certain app store rules have to be deleted, including the ban on apps from linking to external purchase offers – Apple is still fighting against this. The Australian competition watchdogs, who are likely to follow the legal dispute closely, have previously requested something similar. If Apple and Google do not make the changes voluntarily, regulation threatens.


(lbe)

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