Epic Games took Apple to court in California over the Fortnite ban, this bitter legal battle in the Northern Golden State District involves former major democrat lawyers, and several geopolitical interests collide over a banned Battle Royale shooter. Epic Games circumvented the Apple App Store payment processing platform offering an alternative to purchasing in-game add-ons, Apple responded by banning the popular app from its platform. What ensued is this legal battle. In this article, we share with our readers the latest developments in this important cause.
The latest development is that after Judge Yvonne González Rogers’ ruling, Apple can continue to block Fortnite from the App Store and the iOS environment. Both parties will move on to trial. The California judge determines that any financial issues that Epic Games faces for circumventing Apple’s payment platform are something Epic brought on their own.
Judge Rogers considers that Epic cannot go as far as to claim “monopoly” and remake written arrangements while claiming benefits only to their side. Therefore, the judge denied the Chinese their request for an injunction to restore Fortnite to the App Store.
If Epic Games really cared for the iOS users for Fortnite access, they can release a version of the game that adheres to Apple’s policy. Also, the Judge considered Epic Games’ arguments regarding the Unreal Engine block by Apple. The California-based tech giant retaliated against Epic Games by tackling on the iOS support on the popular software developing platform. Judge Rogers considers that Apple’s move would hurt developers, while also noting that it is difficult to precise the border between Unreal Engine and Epic Games.
The Trial gets Technical
The legal technicalities of this trial encompass several things like APIs, SDKs, Payment platforms, the definition of a monopoly, and conflicting interests. For one part, the mobile gaming arena scenario is quite different from its PC or Console counterparts, for the judge, it was hard to establish a clear boundary between these formats in a legal aspect because Epic Games’ carefully crafted legal arguments present the Chinese software company as the victims who only care for their users.
A central aspect to this trial is the question of whether Apple holds a monopoly. The mere definition of “monopoly” is at stake, Epic argues and lobbies actively for the diversification of the App Store ecosystem. Apple, on its side, says that relevant markets include competing platforms, a clever way to say that Epic makes more money off of Fortnite on PC and consoles rather than the iOS ecosystem, a key issue because the bulk of Fortnite users play the game on console or PC. Epic replies to this argument saying that other gaming platforms are no substitute to iOS. Judge Rogers considers both arguments at this point, still, the lawsuit will move on to a full trial.
The judge must consider who has the stronger argument, in this aspect, the answer will be found by examining how many iOS users own multiple devices, and how often do they switch between one device and the other in response to price changes in the App Store.
Epic must prove in court that Apple’s IAP system is linked to the App Store in its entirety. Something that Judge Rogers considers to be separate.
Who defends Epic Games?
Epic Games acquired the legal counsel of Christine Varney, of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a legal desk with offices in China. Varney was a former prosecutor and Department of Justice employee for the Clinton and Obama administrations with vast experience in antitrust law. It’s no surprise that the democrats cave to the Chicoms and go for their aid in the exchange for massive payments.