Epic Games’ dispute with Apple, which started in August 2020, has finally come to an end with the court’s ruling in favor of Apple, mostly. U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that Epic breached its contract and is liable to pay damages to Apple. The court also ordered Apple to allow developers to inform users of alternative payment options outside the App Store via links, buttons, email, or any other method. However, Epic Games CEO and founder, Tim Sweeney is not happy with the decision.
The developer had started this legal battle with Apple to seek court’s permission to offer its own app store on iOS for its popular game, Fortnite. Epic argued that the prices of items on the game were high because the developer had to pay Apple a 30% commission on all in-app purchases, so it wanted to introduce a new digital market where it offered reduced prices and all the payment goes to Epic. On the other hand, Apple argued that App Store provides various services like app review process to allow malicious-free digital marketplace for customers, and provides assistance, training, support, and more to developers to build their apps for iOS. Therefore, the 30% commission is utilized to sustain and develop the App Store.
Apple deems ruling in Epic Games’ case a big win for App Store
As the judgment did not find App Store policies anti-competitive, it reassured Apple that it is on the right path for developers and consumers. The company’s response to the ruling, shared by @MarkGurman, reads:
Today the Court has affirmed what we’ve known all along: the App Store is not in violation of antitrust law. As the Court recognized ‘success is not illegal’. Apple faces rigorous competition in every segment in which we do business, and we believe customers and developers choose us because our products and services are the best in the world. We remain committed to ensuring the App Store is a safe and trusted marketplace that supports a thriving developer community and more than 2.1 million U.S. jobs, and where the rules apply equally to everyone.
Mr.Sweeney retorted that “today’s ruling isn’t a win for developers or for consumers.” He said that Epic Games will continue to fight for ‘fair competition among in-app payment methods and app stores for a billion consumers.” Mr. Sweeney also added that Fortnite will not be returning to iOS until a fair in-app payment structure is not introduced to pass the savings to consumers. Earlier the developer had asked Apple to reinstate its developer account so it could relaunch Fortnite in South Korea.