Finally the case came to an end
For over a year, the Epic Games filed for justice against apple after the game Fortnite be removed from App Store. Since then, there has been a long legal battle that finally came to an end, with the verdict establishing points to be fulfilled by both parties.
According to the The Verge, the judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers slammed the hammer down on the case with a standing order, setting new restrictions on the rules of the App Store from Apple. Now, it is defined that Apple is “permanently prohibited from limiting developers from including in their apps metadata buttons, external links or other calls that direct customers to purchase mechanisms, in-app purchases or communication with customers through a voluntarily created contact between customers during registration within the app.”
In practice, this means that Apple must allow apps on iOS to have different payment options than Apple offers. The decree must be acted upon within 90 days, unless a court with greater jurisdiction determines otherwise.
However, it is defined that the Epic Games in fact, it violated its contract with Apple when, last year, it implemented this alternative payment method within the Fortnite. Because of this, the company will have to pay 30% of all the profit it made in this way to Apple, which totals 3.5 million dollars.
In the legal documents, Gonzalez Rogers explains how he reached his verdict, stating that he rejected the definitions given by the two companies on the case:
“The relevant market here is transactions in digital games on mobile devices, not about games in general and not about Apple’s internal operating system, related to the App Store,” he said. “The court cannot conclude that Apple is a monopolist under federal or state antitrust laws. However, the judgment showed that Apple is engaging in anti-competitive conduct under California’s competition laws.”
While the decision sets a precedent that could change the way the App Store works, an Apple representative said the decision was a victory for the company.
“Today the Court affirmed what we’ve always known: the App Store does not violate antitrust law”, declared a company spokesman. “Apple faces stiff competition in every segment in which it does business. We believe that customers and developers choose us because our products and services are the best in the world. We remain committed to ensuring that the App Store is a safe and reliable marketplace. ”
About that, Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic, lamented the outcome of the court fight:
“Today’s decision is not a win for developers or consumers,” said Sweeney. “Epic is fighting for fair competition between in-app payment methods and app stores for a billion consumers.”
A spokesman for Epic Games said the company plans to appeal the verdict.
What was Epic Games’ legal fight with Apple about?
Last year, the Epic Games announced that it was reducing the prices of virtual currencies in the Fortnite. Although fans loved the news, Apple declared that the game was “violating” a rule about in-app payments, something that prompted the game’s removal from its online store.
What Epic did was allow players to buy directly from the company, bypassing the 30% App Store fee. Apple claimed that the game company was violating pre-established agreements to keep the store safe and a level playing field between developers. In response, Epic announced that it was filing a lawsuit against what it called “Unfair and anti-competitive actions that Apple uses to illegally maintain its monopoly.”
Things got to the point where Fortnite released a 1984-inspired commercial by George Orwell criticizing Apple’s “oppression”. At the time the company said “Epic Games challenged the App Store monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite on a billion devices. Visit fn.gg/freefortnite and fight with us so that 2020 doesn’t become ‘1984”.
Apparently, even though this trial has come to an end, this story between Epic Games and Apple is still far from over.
Check out our list of Fortnite’s biggest surprises: