Apple and Epic Games are still embroiled in their ongoing legal feud, with both parties submitting filings challenging the previous ruling. Last year, the conflict began when Epic circumvented Apple’s App Store fees by offering discounts on V-Bucks – Fortnite’s in-game currency – through its own site. Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store, prompting Epic to sue, with Apple then counter-suing for damages. In a later ruling, the courts favoured Apple in nine out of ten claims but ordered the company to allow third-party payments. Following an appeal by Epic, the companies went to court again in April 2021.
In the most recent ruling, the court once again favoured Apple in nine out of ten cases but ordered it to allow developers to accept payments independent of Apple’s own ecosystem. Consequently, both companies have requested the case to be reheard by a panel of 11 judges.
Apple chimes in
While Apple claims that Epic was acting in bad faith, Epic contends its claims implicate antitrust law. Apple has filed a plea requesting an infringement verdict covering its conduct, which it contends is “pro-competitive” and does not conflict with antitrust law. In terms of damages, although the majority of Apple’s appeals were upheld, allowing third-party payments may be the most significant setback for Apple. Apple had in fact desired a larger profit share, so much so that it had previously attempted to have Epic repay its losses after shifting away from its guidelines.
What does Epic want?
Although it won a significant victory in the larger case, a much more conclusive win could boost Epic’s place in the market while also lowering the barriers for other companies to follow suit through the App Store ecosystem, making Epic’s case all the more significant.
The App Store and Epic games
After testing its privacy settings and ensuring they passed muster, Apple revised the App Store’s rules, which primarily affected how developers could handle user data and how this data was sold. Nevertheless, with Epic Games’ case, the App Store and how developers interact with it is far from done and dusted.