Apple and Epic lose in court battle but Epic is appealing

On Friday the legal battle between Epic Games and Apple was decided on and Epic Games is none too pleased with the outcome. So much so that it will appeal the ruling.

On Friday United States District Court judge, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, published a 185 page judgement in which it found that Apple did not have a monopoly in the realm of mobile game transactions. In addition, Epic Games was found to have knowingly breached its contract with Apple when it circumvented payment systems.

“As a major player in the wider video gaming industry, Epic Games brought this lawsuit to challenge Apple’s control over access to a considerable portion of this submarket for mobile gaming transactions. Ultimately, Epic Games overreached,” wrote Rogers.

“As a consequence, the trial record was not as fulsome with respect to antitrust conduct in the relevant market as it could have been,” the judge added.

As a result, Epic Games has been told to pay damages to Apple in an amount equal to 30 percent of the $12 167 719 in revenue it collected from Fortnite users on iOS by passing Apple’s payment systems.

Epic Games has since filed an appeal calling on a higher court to examine the case and overturn Rogers’ ruling. As The Verge reports, there is little to no information about the legal basis for this challenge, we just know Epic is appealing.

While Apple was surely happy about this result, that joy was likely short-lived as Rogers said that Apple has to stop forcing companies to use its payment systems.

“…the Court does not find that Apple is an antitrust monopolist in the submarket for mobile gaming transactions. However, it does find that Apple’s conduct in enforcing anti-steering restrictions is anticompetitive. A remedy to eliminate those provisions is appropriate. This measured remedy will increase competition, increase transparency, increase consumer choice and information while preserving Apple’s iOS ecosystem which has procompetitive justifications,” wrote Rogers.

The full judgement is well worth a read if you want some more details on this matter but the short of it is that Epic Games punched up and then failed to argue its position in an effective way.

Whether its appeal will change this judgement at all is unknown, especially given the lack of information Epic Games has provided in that regard.

The good news is that Apple users may soon have other ways to pay for in-app purchases.

Something that isn’t clear is whether Fortnite will return to iOS. For now, we don’t encourage holding your breath.


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