Apple does not need to reinstate Fortnite back on its app store, rules California District Judge

A federal judge ruled on Friday that Apple did not need to reinstate the popular video game Fortnite in its App Store, in a blow to Fortnite’s parent company, Epic Games, which is battling an antitrust war the tech giant over its app store payment rules.

A federal judge ruled on Friday that Apple did not need to reinstate the popular video game Fortnite in its App Store, in a blow to Fortnite’s parent company, Epic Games, which is battling an antitrust war the tech giant over its app store payment rules.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the Northern District of California said in her ruling that Apple’s ban of the game could continue because Epic had violated its contract with Apple. She wrote that there is “significant public interest” in requiring companies to adhere to contracts or resolve disputes through the normal course.

The Court also stated that Apple could not ban Unreal Engine, Epic’s developer tools, from its platforms because of the “potential significant damage to both developers and gamers” who rely on the software.

An Epic Games spokeswoman said the company “is grateful that Apple will continue to be barred from retaliating against Unreal Engine and our game development customers.” Epic will continue developing for Apple’s platforms and “pursue all avenues to end Apple’s anti-competitive behavior”.

An Apple spokesman said the company was grateful that the court “recognized that Epic’s actions were not in the best interests of its own customers and that any problems they may have encountered were of their own making when they breached their agreement.” The spokesman added that Apple’s app store has been “an economic miracle” that has created “transformative business opportunities” for developers.

“They think they can just decide arbitrarily what apps can exist, and what fees can be charged, and tax all commerce. We came gradually to the realization that we had to fight this, not just by words, but also by really broad actions.”, Tim Sweeney, Epic’s chief executive had said.

The truffle began in August, when Epic Games violated Apple’s and Google’s pay rules by directing Fortnite users to its own payments service. Apple and Google responded by pulling Fortnite from their app stores, causing the latter to sue both companies, for breaking antitrust laws.

Last month, more than 10 smaller app makers, including music streaming service Spotify, the dating service Match Group and the Bluetooth tracking device maker Tile, formed a nonprofit group called ‘Coalition for App Fairness’ to push for changes to the app stores.

 

Source: The New York Times

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