Fortnite publisher Epic Games has gained some new allies in its ongoing war with Apple, forming the non-profit Coalition for App Fairness. The group currently consists of Basecamp, Blix, Blockchain.com, Deezer, the European Publishers Council, Match Group, News Media Europe, Prepear, Protonmail, SkyDemon, Spotify, and Tile. Based in Washington D.C., the coalition has several stated goals on its website, but the group wants to avoid being forced to go through the App Store on Apple devices, and argues that competing App Stores should be allowed on the platform. They also believe that a developer should not be blocked from the platform over its business practices.
“The Coalition for App Fairness was created by industry leading companies who want to see freedom of choice for consumers and a level playing field for businesses,” reads the group's website. "This is an open call to all developers, big and small, to join us – and together we will fight back against the monopolist control of the app ecosystem by Apple."
Epic Games has long been critical of Apple's practices, particularly over its 30% fee on in-app purchases. Tensions between the two companies reached a boiling point in August, after Epic Games released a Fortnite update that violated the App Store's terms of service. Apple threatened to remove the game from the App Store over the update, and Epic served the company with an anti-trust lawsuit immediately after. Fortnite has since been removed from iOS platforms, and Epic has been using the game as a platform to sway public opinion against the industry giant.
It will be interesting to see if more companies join the Coalition for App Fairness, and whether or not Apple will meet the group halfway on any of its stated goals. It's hard to imagine Apple would allow competing App Stores on its platform, but if enough companies join the coalition, it's possible that it could budge on that 30% in-App charge, or some of the group's other stated goals.
It remains to be seen how successful the Coalition for App Fairness will be, but it's clear that the conflict between Apple and Epic Games won't be ending anytime soon.
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