Epic Games appeals the ruling last week in an antitrust case with Apple
Epic Games, Fortnite’s maker, is appealing the ruling last week in its court fight with Apple. A federal judge ruled that Apple will no longer be allowed developers to add links to other payment methods, but did not declare Apple a monopolist. This would have given Epic Games the opportunity to advocate for other ways to serve its iOS users, such as through third-party apps stores or sideloading capabilities that are built into Apple’s mobile OS. It is similar to Google’s Android OS.
Apple declared the court case a win, because the judge agreed with Apple’s position that it was not in violation of antitrust laws and also considered Apple’s success in both the app and gaming industry as legal. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said that the ruling was not good news for consumers or developers. He suggested that Epic Games may appeal the decision on Twitter. He said “We will fight for our rights.”
Epic Games published a court filing on Sunday (see below) in which it stated that it will appeal U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’ final judgment and all orders leading up to or producing that judgement.
Epic Games was ordered to pay Apple 30% of the $12 Million it earned in Fortnite for iOS by introducing its alternative payment system. This was in violation of its legal contract.
The appeals court will revisit the way Judge Gonzalez Rogers defined a market in which Epic Games claimed Apple was acting as an oligopolist. Gonzalez Rogers specifically defined the market for mobile gaming transactions, contrary to both sides’ wishes. Although Epic Games may appeal, the court may not change its mind. However, a new ruling could clarify the vague language in the injunction and describe how Apple must now accommodate developers that want to direct their customers to alternative payment methods.
Currently, developers are assuming that Apple will just extend the “reader” app.
Apps that allow users to access purchased content are exempted from the non-reader app category. Apple reached an agreement with a Japanese regulator to allow readers apps to direct users to their website, where they can sign up and manage accounts. This could include subscriptions like Spotify or Netflix. Apple stated that this would be a global change.
Apple told reporters that the details of Epic Games’ injunction would need to be clarified. Apple has not yet provided details of the Epic Games ruling injunction to developers and has not updated its App Store guidelines with new language due to the recent nature of the decision.
Epic Games was unable to comment on the request.