Epic Games pays $6 million of unpaid "Apple Tax" to Apple after court ruling6
Epic has now paid $6 million of the so-called 'Apple Tax' to Apple
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney himself has confirmed the paid amount via Twitter and has even joked about it with the Apple Pay logo. The judge has ordered Epic to Pay Apple 30% of the $12,167,719 revenue that the company made last year by bypassing the App Store's in-app purchases system.
A couple of days ago, the game maker has filed an appeal to the court's ruling, despite the judge ruling that Apple should allow third-party payment systems from now on.
Epic has paid Apple $6,000,000 as ordered by the court. pic.twitter.com/trulCfjE9S— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) September 13, 2021
It was a long legal battle between Epic and Apple
It all started back in the summer of 2020. Epic Games' popular game Fortnite started including a link to direct payment that was bypassing the App Store rules that required the so-called "Apple Tax" - a 30% fee taken on each purchase via the App Store. Of course, bypassing this payment system meant Epic was breaching the terms and conditions of its developer contract with Apple and not long after that, Apple reacted.
The Cupertino giant removed the Fortnite game from the App Store and then went on to disable Epic Games' developer account when the company refused to comply with the giant's demands. Epic took things to court and filed a lawsuit against Apple, the 30% commission and the monopoly the App Store executed over developers.
The lawsuit continued until September 10, 2021, when Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers made her decision on it and concluded everything in a 185-page ruling. The Judge basically allowed third-party developers to include links for other purchases systems alongside the App Store payment system. Nevertheless, the Judge deemed Epic has breached its contract with Apple and still had to pay the aforementioned amount of money to Cupertino for the money earned by bypassing the App Store rules.
In the complaint, Epic has stated Google had put in place a program called "Premier Device Program" starting 2019, which basically gave phone makers and their devices a premium status in search thus earning 12 percent share of Google search revenue. The condition to make the Premier Device Program list was to not include any third-party APK installs-capable apps, pretty much - any app store.
According to the complaint, this Premier Program included Motorola, LG, and Chinese conglomerate BBK (which represents companies such as Oppo, Vivo, and OnePlus) who had the majority of their devices in the Premier Program.