Apple and Epic Games have had a long-running battle over Apple’s policies on its App Store. The latter believes that Apple’s 30% commission is a reap off and its refusal of an alternative payment platform for buyers is “fraud”. Apple has since removed Fortnite from its App Store and Epic Games dragged Apple to court. Fortnite developer, Epic Games CEO, Tim Sweeney, said on Wednesday that Apple had blacklisted “Fortnite“. The blacklisting will persist until the court appeal process is done. This process may last for several years.
According to a court document, the deadline for Epic Games’ appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is December 12. In addition, Apple’s deadline for response is January 20, 2022. However, the rest of the court proceedings may take several years to complete.
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On Wednesday, Sweeney condemned Apple’s move on Twitter and said that Epic Games will continue to fight the technology giant. He posted a Twitter message saying: “This is another extraordinary anti-competitive behavior of Apple, demonstrating its power to reshape the market and choose winners and losers.”
The two companies have been involved in legal disputes since August last year. The brouhaha started when Epic Games tried to launch its own in-app payment system to circumvent the App Store 30% fee for in-app purchases. In addition to this high-profile antitrust lawsuit brought by Epic Games, the company also faces a series of other legal and regulatory challenges because it forces game developers to comply with the rules.
Apple confirms Epic Games remarks
Apple confirmed the authenticity of Sweeney’s remarks but declined to comment further. The company has not yet indicated whether it will request a suspension of the injunction and await the appeal process. According to information shared by Sweeney, the Cupertino company stated in a letter to Epic Games: “Epic Games concealed the code from Apple and made related misrepresentations and omissions. This is a deliberate breach of contract and breach of trust.”
Developers have long criticized Apple for charging 15% to 30% commissions for in-app purchases. Some developers believe that the app review process in the App Store is opaque and unpredictable. Earlier this month, a U.S. federal judge overturned some regulations of the App Store, forcing the company to allow developers to transfer users to other payment systems. This is a partial victory for Epic Games and other app developers.
Considering the multiple anti-monopoly lawsuits in various parts of the industry, Apple’s chances of outright victory are very slim. However, it is very difficult to predict the verdict of the court.