US Judge expects Apple vs Epic Games trial to commence in July 2021, Fortnite still shut out
As the 'epic' battle loges forward, a US judge recently ruled in Apple's favour, not granting the game developer a temporary court order that would force Apple to unblock Fortnite from its iOS App Store.
September 29, 2020 / 03:00 PM IST
Epic Games is currently in a major tussle with Apple since the tech giant banned Fortnite from its app store for violating guidelines. As the 'epic' battle continues, a US judge recently ruled in Apple's favour, not granting the game developer a temporary court order that would force Apple to unblock Fortnite from its iOS App Store.
Apple removed Fortnite from its app store in August after the game developer pushed a software update to the app that let Fortnite players circumvent Apple's proprietary in-app payment system. The US District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers for the Northern District of California previously rejected a similar request and has remained unmoved at Monday's hearing.
Judge Rogers also said that given her schedule, the case might not to go trial until July next year. She also added that it would be preferable for the case to be tried before a jury.
Epic claims that Apple's refusal to allow it to use its own payment system is anticompetitive and monopolistic. However, Apple countered by stating that Epic dealt a blow to itself by not complying with the App Store's payment policy.
However, Epic is not only in a tussle with Apple but Google as well. The case Epic is making is that Apple and Google's hold over their respective app stores together constitutes a duopoly. While a trial is set to take place in July 2021, the judge is expected to rule on whether Apple must temporarily reinstate Fortnite in its App Store and support Epic's Unreal Engine software for developers in the coming days.
Apple has maintained that all app developers are subject to the same rules, but Epic claims that Apple's 30 percent fee is too high a tax on commerce. However, Epic says that it wants the 30 percent App Store tax on both Apple and Google's app stores reduced for all developers.
It is worth noting that Amazon Prime Video and Netflix currently bypass the iOS App Store tax. We are sure that Fortnite might have been able to do the same if they had wanted to settle this case, but it seems like the game developer is ready to take on Apple and Google and their monopolistic practices.
The news comes at a time when lawmakers have begun scrutinizing the power of the tech giants. Lawmakers in the US have been investigating whether the big tech companies, primarily Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook, stifle competition and harm consumers.