Pearl Narang

Pearl Narang is a final year law student of B.B.A.LL.B (Hons.) at Chandigarh University, Mohali and is currently interning as a Trainee in Business World Legal Community. She is also pursuing a diploma in Contract Drafting, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution. She is passionate about both law and writing.

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Epic Games Versus Apple: The Fortnite Battle is on

Epic Games and Apple’s war began when Epic Games activated a payment option on its Fortnite app. The payment option bypassed Apple’s built-in payment system.

Epic games launched Fortnite outside the app store ecosystem to bypass disproportionate fee

According to Tim Sweeny,CEO of Epic games, Google's Play Store fee was "disproportionate". Therefore, he launched Fortnite Epic’s popular video game, outside Google’s Play Store to bypass the app store fee.

Further, his company, Epic Games, started encouraging Fortnite’s mobile-app users to pay the company directly, rather than through Apple or Google. This practice violated Apple’s and Google’s rules. Both tech giants handle all app payments and collect their 30% commission.

Apple and Google ban Epic games and block its access to developer tools

In response, Apple and Google banned Fortnite from the App Store. Epic counter attacked and sued both companies for violating antitrust laws because they forced developers to use only their own payment systems.

Epic’s access to developer tools, including those that would allow it to update the Unreal Engine on iOS was also blocked by Apple. The company used the ban to call for a change to Apple’s 30% pay cut and filed an injunction to stop Apple from terminating all its developer accounts and cut Epic off from iOS and Mac development tools.

Epic partly wins a temporary restraining order against Apple 

There has been a ruling on this injunction. Th Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers in its judgement ruled in regards to the issue of restraining order, “the Court grants in part and denies in part Epic’s motion for a temporary restraining order," read the legal document. The court granted that Apple cannot restrain Epic from supporting the Unreal Engine on its platform. This is because the contract that Epic Games is in violation of has nothing to do with its developer agreement and the Unreal Engine is used by many third-party game creators.

The Verge reported the ruling in which Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers wrote that Epic Games failed to demonstrate that Apple's actions had caused the "irreparable harm" that the company claimed. 

Hence, the judgement allowed Apple to keep the ban on the app while allowing Epic Games developer's account for Unreal Engine.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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