Epic Tries New Gambit to Restore Fortnite in Apple App Store

Although earlier reports indicated that the next move in the ongoing saga would not be until the end of September, Epic has since filed a preliminary injunction against Apple, attempting to force the company into allowing Fortnite back into the App Store and to restoring Epic's developer accounts. "The Court should not allow Apple to enforce these restrictions".

Epic "repeatedly submit Fortnite updates created to violate the guidelines of the App Store", Apple said.

But this violated the terms and conditions that Epic agreed to when signing with Apple to have Fortnite listed in the App Store. However, to tech giants like Apple and Android, it meant a cut in their wallets, so they both chose to boot off Epic Games' mobile version of Fortnite off their respective stores, leading to what has become a messy lawsuit.

"If Apple someday chooses to return to its roots building open platforms in which consumers have freedom to install software from sources of their choosing, and developers can reach consumers and do business directly without intermediation, then Epic will once again be an ardent supporter of Apple". The company pointed us to its previous statements on the matter.

Apple pulled Fortnite from its online mobile apps marketplace on 13 August after Epic released an update that dodges revenue sharing with the iPhone maker.

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Last month a U.S. court rejected Epic's bid to have Fortnite reinstated on the App Store, saying its eviction by Apple was a "self-inflicted wound". "By eliminating many of these players from Fortnite, and blocking Fortnite's ability to access over a billion iOS users, Apple is irreparably harming Epic's chances".

Epic argues this is anticompetitive, and it's not the only developer to fight Apple over the rule. In other words, once an app is installed on an iPhone, only Apple's in-app payment system can be offered.

iOS is Fortnite's biggest platform, with - according to Epic - 116 million registered users, out of the game's total 350 million. Based on the legal document it submitted last night, Epic believes that it should succeed on the merits because Apple Has a Monopoly in the iOS App Distribution Market, Apple Unlawfully Maintains a Monopoly in the iOS App Distribution Market, Apple's Tying of the App Store and IAP, and Apple's Tying Unreasonably Restrains Trade and Unlawfully Maintains Its Monopoly in the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market.

It's unclear at the moment who will win this battle, although both sides are lawyered up and ready to go. Epic is not the only company that is cranky over Apple's "Apple Store Tax", and the practice is now under investigation by the European Commission. Since new shows and movies are limited because of the global pandemic we're living in, at least we still get to see a real-life soap opera between billionaires in the meantime.

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