Since 2021 there are Epic Games as developer of Fortnite and Apple in litigation. Now an appellate court has agreed with the iPhone manufacturer on almost all points – allowing Apple to continue to enforce its app store rules.
Epic Games once wanted to avoid giving Apple 30 percent for purchases via the Appstore and implemented an external payment system in Fortnite on their own. As soon as Apple got wind of it, Fortnite was thrown out of the App Store and a long-term legal dispute ensued. After the group with the apple had already been proven right in a US court, the company was now able to win the appeal.
Apple Rules are lawful – except for one
In the legal dispute, Epic Games accused Apple of unfair competition and wanted that the expulsion be withdrawn and the rules of the app store are challenged. In the end, however, the Fortnite developer draws the short straw, as an appeals court has now found out again.
Apple’s rules are therefore legal. “For the second time in two years, a federal court has ruled that Apple complies with state and federal antitrust laws,” a company spokesman told CNBC. Apple only has to give in on one point: Links to external payment options within apps must not be banned.
Already at the first hearing in 2021, Apple was asked by the court to allow such links. This allows app developers to avoid the commission payment to Apple, which is why the group announced a corresponding appeal.
What will become of Fortnite?
Despite the renewed defeat in court, Epic wants to continue fighting Apple. Tim Sweeney, head of the Fortnite developer, announced this indirectly in a tweet. “Another court judgment lost, another mountain climbed. Since 2020, the year this journey began, the world has come a long way, with much progress made by many people in many countries around the world. And we go further!”
Lost another court verdict, climbed another mountain. The world has come a long way since 2020 when this journey began, with much progress achieved by many people in many nations around the world. And onward we go! https://t.co/d1uT5EIzBP pic.twitter.com/qlWhcBUNYS
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 25, 2023
It remains questionable whether Epic Games will thus bow to Apple’s rules and whether Fortnite would be able to return to the App Store. Since 2020 that is Battle Royale no longer available on the Appstore and only playable on Apple devices via detours, such as Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud service.