US judge rules Apple could bar Epic Games’s ‘Fortnite’ from App Store

Epic Games Fortnite

A federal judge in California has ruled in an injunction request that Apple could bar Epic Games’s “Fortnite” from its App Store, but must not harm Epic’s developer tools business, which contains the “Unreal Engine” applications used by hundreds of other video games.

“The Court maintains its findings from the temporary restraining order and hereby grants in part and denies in part Epic Games’ motion for a preliminary injunction,” District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled.

Last month, Epic Games had filed for a preliminary injunction that would put its game back in the App Store and restore its developer account after the iPhone maker terminated Epic Games’ account on its App Store.

Epic sued Apple in August, claiming that the organization’s 30 percent commission on a few in-app purchases made via its App Store, together with Apple’s controls on what apps users may download to their iPhones, constituted anticompetitive behaviour. The lawsuit came after Epic rolled out its own payment method in the popular Fortnite movie game.

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Apple does not permit such alternative payment methods and removed Fortnite in the App Store and threatened to terminate Epic’s programmer accounts, which would have influenced Epic’s other business of selling software used to make games.

Epic moved to stop Apple from carrying both measures. The judge previously issued an emergency order that allowed Apple to pull Epic’s titles from the App Store but resisted the iPhone manufacturer from taking any actions that would damage Epic’s developer tools.

“Epic Games has strong arguments regarding Apple’s exclusive distribution through the iOS App Store, and the in-app purchase (“IAP”) system through which Apple takes 30% of certain IAP payments”, the judge stated in Friday’s judgment.

However, she added that Epic Games has not sufficiently addressed Apple’s counter arguments. “The equities, addressed in the temporary restraining order, remain the same.”

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco. Editing by Peter Henderson and Grant McCool.

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