Maker ‘Fortnite’ accuses Apple of illegal monopolistic practices in battle royalties that appear on the way to a courtroom

The maker of “Fortnite” has launched a Battle Royale against Apple Inc., accusing the tech giant of seeking to “maintain its legitimacy of its monopoly.”

Epic games said Thursday it has filed legal papers against Apple AAPL,
+ 1.77%
after the iPhone maker launched the company’s hit game “Fortnite” from the App Store, and a lawyer representing Epic confirmed that the complaint was filed in the Northern District of California. Apple removed the game after Epic began offering players a discount on in-game purchases if they opted for a direct payment and did not purchase their digital offers through the App Store.

The game maker came prepared for a fight, debuting on a video that deceives Apple’s classic 1984 ad, urging customers to oppose compliance and International Business Machines Inc. To prevent IBM,
of dominating the computer market. Then Apple warned that without the turn of the year, the year 1984 could mirror George Orwell’s dystopian “1984” novel; Epic Games warns in its ad that 2020 may also feature “1984”.

Apple charges developers 30% of purchases made through the App Store, and 15% after the first year of subscriptions. This has been the focus of anti-trust investigations into the company, which is worth nearly $ 2 trillion thanks to the money it collects from the iPhone and the apps and services provided through it. Epic has long sought to pay such fees, previously launching its own store around the GOOGL of Alphabet Inc. to get,
+ 0.62%
+ 0.78%
similar Play Store that is bundled with Google’s rival Android operating system.

See also: ‘Fortnite’ Android corrupted, then Google found a major security flaw in its app

Fortnite had more than 125 million app installations and more than $ 1 billion in player releases on Apple iOS devices in mid-May alone, according to mobile app research firm Sensor Tower.

After Epic publicly announced Thursday morning that it would offer users on Apple’s iOS operating system a discount on purchases made through their own store instead of through Apple, the Cupertino, California-based tech giant, removed the app from the App Store. In response, Epic has filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming that it “seeks to end Apple’s unfair and anti-competitive actions taken by Apple to maintain its monopoly legally” with in-app distribution and in-app purchases.

Apple did not immediately respond to a MarketWatch request for comment, but released a statement to other news organizations prior to the news of Epic’s lawsuit. The statement claimed that Epic Games had introduced the feature without the company’s approval and that it did so “with the express intention of violating the App Store’s guidelines regarding in-app payments.”

The statement also said that Apple “will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so that they can return ‘Fortnite’ to the App Store.”

An Epic spokeswoman confirmed the pack in an email to MarketWatch.

As part of its blitz against Apple, the company has launched a page on its website with the tagline “#FreeFortnite” that tells customers to use this hashtag to support Epic by dealing with the App Store’s official Twitter account. The hashtag was trending on Twitter within an hour after the launch of the site.

Epic says on its website that players who have already downloaded Fortnite to their Apple mobile devices “should not have any problems continuing to play Chapter 2 – Season 3 Update of 13.40.” Once the new season begins, Epic expects players to be able to play the older content but not have access to new material.

For more: Apple and Facebook could be the most vulnerable among the anti-trust suspects

Apple’s rewards policies around the App Store have recently come under increased scrutiny from both developers and regulators. Major developers including Spotify Technology SA SPOT,
+ 0.14%
have been looking for ways to pay Apple a subscription fee cut, and the developers of Hey, a new email app, publicly fought with Apple in June after the email service rolled out their app without an option to purchase subscriptions from within the app. The developers of Apple and Hey finally reached a compromise.

Regulators and legislators in the US and Europe have also questioned the App Store’s policies and whether they are suppressing competition.

Epic claims in its complaint that Apple ‘damages relationship with app developers with its customers’ by its obligatory involvement in all transactions, because customers ‘often blame’ Epic for problems related to payments. “In addition, Apple is able to obtain information about Epic’s transactions with its own customers, even if Epic and its own customers prefer not to share their information with Apple,” the complaint said.

Apple shares rose 1.8% on Thursday, reaching more than 50% over the past three months than the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
, which counts Apple as a component, has added 20%.