Remember back in 2020 when Epic Games and Apple went to war over Fortnite? Epic Games secretly added a new way for players to purchase VBucks in the game which bypassed Apple’s built-in App Store purchase system and in turn, violated its terms of service. Well, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the court’s 2021 ruling rejecting Epic Games’ claims that Apple violated the law by removing Fortnite from the App Store and not allowing any competing marketplaces on its iOS ecosystem.
Back in 2020, Epic launched this large-scale antitrust lawsuit against Apple in an attempt to bypass the 30% cut the company makes from iOS purchases. At the same time, Epic implemented its own in-game purchase system which meant gamers could buy stuff and Apple would not make a cent from these sales.
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As a result of all of this, Apple terminated Epic’s developer account and removed Fortnite from the App Store. The lower court has now ruled against Epic in nine of the 10 counts it had against Apple. Epic claims that it will appeal this decision. The three-judge appeals panel said in the case’s latest ruling:
“There is a lively and important debate about the role played in our economy and democracy by online transaction platforms with market power. Our job as a federal court of appeals, however, is not to resolve that debate — nor could we even attempt to do so. Instead, in this decision, we faithfully applied existing precedent to the facts.”
Even though Epic wants to appeal this decision, the company did plead to Apple back in 2021 to reinstate Fortnite on the App Store. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney wrote a letter to Apple asking it to reactivate Fortnite’s developer account and promised to adhere to Apple’s guidelines whenever and wherever they release products on the platform.
Apple rejected this letter and as a result, Fortnite is still unavailable on the App Store. The company says it wouldn’t consider adding Fortnite back to the App Store until its legal battle with Epic was complete. This appeal will just further delay the reinstating.