The Federal Court has decided that the Epic Games Vs Apple case will be heard in Australia, after all.
It’s been a long journey so far. It all began in late-2020 when Apple (as well as Google) removed Fortnite from the App Store. This was in response to Epic allowing players to purchase in-game currency directly from the mobile apps on iOS and Android.
This allowed the company to deny Apple the 30 per cent cut of all in-app purchases it usually gets. Epic further enticed players to pay directly by offering a 20 per cent discount on this payment method.
Epic proceed to file lawsuits against Apple and Google for “anti-competitive behaviour” and this is currently playing out in the U.S.
But three months later, Epic also sued Apple in Australia for the same reason. But back in April the Federal Court suspended the Apple and Epic case in Australia after the former requested a permanent stay so all legal proceedings would play out in the Northern District of California — as per an earlier agreement by the two parties.
Epic Games appealed this decision on the grounds that decisions that impact Australian consumers should be decided within Australia.
The ACCC agreed, and requested to intervene as a non-party and make submissions in the appeal due to the case being about Australian consumer law.
Epic vs Apple case will be heard in Australia
On Friday Epic won this appeal in the Federal Court, meaning that the case will be heard in Australia due to its potential impact on Australian consumers.
“Epic Games is pleased that our case will proceed with the Federal Court and be examined in the context of Australian laws,” an Epic Games spokesperson said in an email to Gizmodo Australia.
“This is a positive step forward for Australian consumers and developers who are entitled to fair access and competitive pricing across mobile app stores. We look forward to continuing our fight for increased competition in app distribution and payment processing in Australia and around the world.”
The ACCC is also pleased with this decision.
“The ACCC welcomes the Full Court’s decision on this appeal, which means that Epic Games’ case against Apple alleging contraventions of Australia competition law will now be heard in Australia, not in the US,” ACCC Chair, Rod Sims, said in a statement.
According to the judgement, not only will the appeal be allowed but Apple will need to pay Epic’s costs for the interlocutory application and appeal. The orders made by the previous Justice back in April have also been dismissed.
It’s unclear when the next hearing will be held.