Fortnite maker seeks injunction, cites Apple’s ‘monopoly’, ‘retaliation’

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on August 18, 2020

Epic Games had recently started allowing users to purchase its in-game currency directly bypassing Apple’s payments system   -  REUTERS

Apple had removed Fortnite from the App Store

Fortnite maker Epic Games has filed a motion for an injunction against Apple after the latter notified the company that it will be revoking its access to Apple’s developer accounts and tools at the end of next week.

The motion was filed in the United States District Court for California’s Northern District on Monday.

“Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store and has informed Epic that on Friday, August 28, Apple will terminate all our developer accounts and cut Epic off from iOS and Mac development tools. We are asking the court to stop this retaliation,” Epic Games tweeted.

“In the injunction motion, Epic accuses Apple of “retaliation” and reasserts its mission to disrupt what it views as Apple’s monopoly over its mobile software market. The company cites concerns that Apple’s actions against its developer access will damage its business beyond Fortnite, particularly its work on Unreal Engine, the prominent game engine it licenses to third-party software makers,” the lawsuit read.

Apple and Google last week removed Fortnite from their respective app stores after Epic snuck in an update that allows users to purchase in-game currency at a lower rate directly from its payments system bypassing the app stores’ payment system.

“Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result, their Fortnite app has been removed from the store,” Apple had said in a statement.

The Fortnite maker, within minutes, had announced that it had taken legal action against Apple, challenging the tech giant’s “anti-competitive” behaviour.

Social media campaign

It has also begun a #FreeFortnite social media campaign urging users to tweet asking Apple to unblock the app. Epic Games has now filed a motion stating that Apple’s “retaliation” will harm its business reiterating Apple’s monopoly and its impact.

“When Epic sued Apple to break its monopoly on app stores and in-app payments, Apple retaliated ferociously. It told Epic that by August 28, Apple will cut off Epic’s access to all development tools necessary to create software for Apple’s platforms — including for the Unreal Engine Epic offers to third-party developers, which Apple has never claimed violated any Apple policy,” the lawsuit read.

“Not content simply to remove Fortnite from the App Store, Apple is attacking Epic’s entire business in unrelated areas. Epic is likely to succeed on the merits of its claims, but without an injunction, Epic will be irreparably harmed long before final judgment comes,” it added.

Published on August 18, 2020

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