Epic Games does battle with Google and Apple

Fortnite maker Epic Games has become embroiled in a showdown with Apple and Google over in-game purchases.

Epic Games, the maker of the video game Fortnite (pictured), has become embroiled in a showdown with Apple and Google. The group has introduced a way of paying for in-game purchases that bypasses Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store – as well as the tech giants’ 30% commissions. 

Epic says that it is stopping its players from being ripped off and has launched an antitrust lawsuit. Apple and Google have responded by removing one of the world’s most popular video games from their stores. Game developers loathe the 30% “Apple Tax”, says Chaim Gartenberg in The Verge. Yet Apple cannot easily afford to drop the charge. While Apple executives like to talk about revenue from the likes of Apple Music, the income from such services is “dwarfed” by its App Store earnings. Last year it made about $18.3bn from its cut of these sales, nearly 40% of total service revenue. It takes chutzpah to face down Apple and Google at the same time, says Dan Gallagher in The Wall Street Journal. Yet Epic has some major industry backers. Apple will say the iPhone’s minority share of the smartphone market means it is not a monopolist, but there are more serious questions about how it exploits the App Store. “No developer can get an app on Apple’s devices without the company’s approval.” 

Apple may be facing “a serious antitrust reckoning”, says Alex Webb on Bloomberg. It has evolved into a near-$2tn business, but still has the mentality of the upstart underdog. It is “a 120-pound Great Dane that still thinks it’s a puppy”.

Recommended

Passive investors beware: you may be dangerously overexposed to big tech stocks
Stockmarkets

Passive investors beware: you may be dangerously overexposed to big tech stocks

Most investors in index funds are likely to be dangerously over-invested in US stocks, and particularly in a few huge tech stocks. It’s time to think …
15 Feb 2021
Stockmarkets shrug off turbulence
Stockmarkets

Stockmarkets shrug off turbulence

Stockmarkets have hit their first bout of turbulence of the year, but most are clinging onto January’s gains.
4 Feb 2021
What’s in Biden’s global corporation tax proposals?
Global Economy

What’s in Biden’s global corporation tax proposals?

US president Joe Biden’s administration recently proposed a universal model for taxing global companies. Saloni Sardana looks at what's involved.
13 Apr 2021
Three ways to avoid a big Deliveroo-style flop
UK stockmarkets

Three ways to avoid a big Deliveroo-style flop

Deliveroo's IPO – the most exciting new stockmarket flotation for a generation – turned out to be a big flop. It needn’t have been, says Matthew Lynn.
11 Apr 2021

Most Popular

The bitcoin bubble will burst: here’s how to play it
Bitcoin

The bitcoin bubble will burst: here’s how to play it

The cryptocurrency’s price has soared far beyond its fundamentals, says Matthew Partridge. Here, he looks at how to short bitcoin.
12 Apr 2021
Central banks are rushing to build digital currencies. What are they, and what do they mean for you?
Bitcoin

Central banks are rushing to build digital currencies. What are they, and what do they mean for you?

As bitcoin continues to soar in value, many of the world’s central banks are looking to emulate it by issuing their own digital currencies. But centra…
8 Apr 2021
Four investment trusts for income investors to buy now
Investment trusts

Four investment trusts for income investors to buy now

Some high-yielding listed lending funds have come through the crisis with flying colours. David Stevenson picks four of the best.
12 Apr 2021