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Epic antitrust case versus Apple in Australia gets three-month stay

Epic antitrust case versus Apple in Australia gets three-month stay


A judge temporarily suspended the case in Australia as the US trial is set to begin in May

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Image by Epic Games

An Australian judge has ruled that Epic’s lawsuit against Apple in Australia will be temporarily suspended as the two sides prepare for a trial in the US, Gizmodo Australia reported. Apple had asked for a permanent stay of the case in Australia, arguing that the US and Australia cases were very similar, and that the matter should be settled in the original jurisdiction of the United States.

The two companies are fighting over Epic’s battle royale game Fortnite, and the fees Apple charges. In August, Epic set up its own in-game payments system, effectively circumventing Apple’s App Store payments and avoiding the 30 percent surcharge Apple collects on App Store purchases. Apple then removed Fortnite from its iOS App Store for violating its rules. Epic fired back with an antitrust lawsuit seeking to establish Apple’s App Store as a monopoly and tried to rally Fortnite fans with a protest video mocking Apple’s iconic “1984” ad.

In November, Epic filed a similar legal claim against Apple in Australia, saying the iPhone maker’s conduct was “unconscionable, and breaches the Australian Consumer Law as well as various sections of the Competition and Consumer Act [of] 2010.” Epic has also filed similar claims against Google and its mobile app store.

Australian Judge Nye Perram ordered Friday that the case in that country be temporarily stayed for three months. He also said the proceedings will continue to be suspended in Australia if Epic continues to pursue its case in the US, but could bring the case back to Australian courts depending on the outcome in the US.

On Thursday, Apple and Epic filed proposed findings of fact documents for the US court case, which is set to open in California on May 3rd.

In an email to The Verge on Saturday, an Epic spokesperson said the company “remained committed to our fight for increased competition on digital platforms in Australia and around the world,” adding that the company planned to “continue supporting the Australian government and regulators in their pursuit of fair competition in mobile app marketplaces.”

Apple did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Update: April 10th, 2:22PM ET: Adds comment from Epic spokesperson