Epic Games CEO Says Apple and Google 'Monopolies Must Be Stopped'

Tim Sweeney accepts a BAFTA Special Award on behalf of Epic Games.
Tim Sweeney accepts a BAFTA Special Award on behalf of Epic Games. / Rachel Luna/Getty Images

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney broke his silence on the lawsuits in which his company is embroiled, calling opponents Apple and Google monopolies that need to be broken up.

Although regulators in both the United States and Europe are investigating the app fees to which Sweeney objects as a possible antitrust problem, Sweeney told NPR his lawsuit came independent of that mounting pressure.

"It's not that Epic looked at articles about investigations of these companies and decided that now's the time to act," he said. "It's the same bad behavior by Apple and Google that's driving everybody to the common conclusion that these monopolies need to be stopped."

Apple and Google both charge a 30% fee for in-app purchases made in apps downloaded from their digital storefronts. Sweeney has long opposed the fees. He and Epic Games took a stand against them by offering direct payment to Epic Games in a circumvention of those fees. That move caused both tech giants to remove Fortnite from their platforms, prompting lawsuits by Epic Games.

Sweeney warned several tech executives, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, the night before Epic Games offered its direct payment option.

"We choose to follow this path in the firm belief that history and law are on our side," Sweeney wrote.