The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has sought leave to appear in Epic Games’ appeal to the Full Federal Court.
Last year, Epic Games took issue with the revenue Apple takes from in-app purchases made during games. After Epic Games installed a payment system in the game that circumvented the App Store’s payment system, Apple removed popular game Fortnite.
In the US, Epic Games filed a lawsuit, while Apple filed a countersuit. According to Apple, Epic’s bypass of the payment system was a violation of the contract between the two companies.
There was also a case in Australia, where in November 2020 Epic began proceedings against Apple over Fortnite’s removal, claiming they breached the Competition and Consumer Act.
In February, the Federal Court suspended the case in Australia on request from Apple, who raised the fact that Apple and Epic had signed an agreement that all proceedings would be determined in the US.
However, Epic is now appealing that decision, and a hearing before the Full Federal Court will happen in June.
ACCC Chair Rod Sims said, “the ACCC has taken the unusual step of seeking leave to appear in this appeal because the stay application raises significant public policy issues about which, as the statutory agency responsible for administering Australia’s competition law, we believe we can be of assistance to the Court.”
“This is a case filed in an Australian Court involving Australian consumers and raising significant issues under Australia’s competition laws. We believe it is in the public interest for significant competition law cases such as this case to be determined by Australian courts, given the outcome of such cases can have significant implications for the broader Australian economy.”
The ACCC is seeking leave to appear as an ‘amicus curiae’ or ‘friend of the Court’.
According to the ACCC, the appearance would be to “make submissions to the Full Court about the public policy in favour of disputes involving Australia’s competition laws being heard and determined by Australian courts.”
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