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Epic admits it personally created advocacy group to target Apple

Epic's legal back-and-forth over Google revealed it intentionally started the Coalition for App Fairness to combat Apple's App Store practices.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

December 12, 2023

2 Min Read
Splash art for the Fortnite OG event.
Image via Epic Games.

Yesterday saw Epic Games win an antitrust lawsuit filed against Google. During the court proceedings recorded by The Verge, the Fortnite creator owned up to its involvement with the Coalition for App Fairness (CAF). 

Last week, marketing VP Matt Weissinger admitted on the stand the Coalition was created by Epic. The company had paid $100,000 to a consultant, but otherwise, Epic and Epic alone was the creator of the group. And when asked about the involvement of other co-creators, he responded truthfully: "No, they were not."

The CAF launched in 2020, with other tech companies like Basecamp and Spotify also listed as "founding members." In 2021, The Verge reported Epic had created the group to help win its case against Apple, though at the time, Epic denied the allegations. 

Back then, emails obtained by the outlet dated back to 2020 showed Weissinger saying it would take "$80K-$100K" to get the Coalition off the ground. Further, a contract between Epic and the consultant showed the latter would directly report to Epic's marketing head for day-to-day operations.

Throughout its conflicts with other tech companies, Epic tends to paint itself as an underdog. And as shown by Kotaku's Ethan Gach, this extended to claiming it was just a simple member of the CAF. 

Back then, the developer was in the midst of a legal war with Apple over its App Store practices (and Apple taking Fortnite off its store), a fight which is still ongoing and now involves the Supreme Court. Epic has been open about its distaste for Apple and Google's practices, particularly as it pertains to Fortnite.

In the instances where it's lost lawsuits against either company (or when it thinks the rulings aren't fair enough), it wouldn't be long before Epic had an appeal filed.

While the company has a win over Google at this moment, it's just as likely that Apple decides to retaliate at Epic (or any of the other "involved" companies) for the Coalition's existence.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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