Meta Platforms, Microsoft, Elon Musk’s X and Match Group on Wednesday joined “Fortnite” video game maker Epic Games’ protest that Apple failed to comply with a court-ordered ban governing payments on its lucrative App Store.

The tech companies that developed some of the most popular apps on the App Store said Apple was in “clear violation” of the September 2021 order by making it harder to steer consumers toward cheaper ways to pay for digital content.

Apple declined to comment specifically on the allegation, which was contained in a filing in federal court in Oakland, California.

He referred to his Jan. 16 statement that he had fully complied with the order, which he said would protect consumers and the “integrity of Apple’s ecosystem” while ensuring that developers don’t get a free ride.

Epic sued Apple in 2020, saying it violated antitrust laws by requiring users to get apps through the App Store and charging developers up to 30% commissions on purchases.

The order requires Apple to allow developers to provide links and buttons to direct users to alternative payment options.

Last week, Epic asked Apple to hold it in contempt, saying the new rules and the new 27% developer fee make the links useless.

In Wednesday’s filings, the tech companies said Apple’s conduct “for all practical purposes” upholds anti-governance rules that the court found illegal by supporting Apple’s “exorbitant” commissions and harming users and developers.

“Apple’s restrictions on where and how developers can communicate with their users about their options to purchase in-app content create significant barriers to competition and artificially inflate prices,” the filing said.

In January, the US Supreme Court decided not to hear Apple’s appeal against the order. He also decided not to hear Epic’s appeal of the lower court’s findings that Apple’s policies did not violate federal antitrust law.

Apple has until April 3 to formally respond to Epic’s filing. The company is based in Cupertino, California, while Epic is based in Cary, North Carolina.

The case is Epic Games Inc v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 20-05640.

© Thomson Reuters 2024

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated by a syndicated channel.)

Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.