The judge informed Apple that the case with Epic Games is nothing but a breach of contract and antitrust violation.
The US District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has thrown out a counterclaim leveled against Epic Games Inc by Apple Inc (NYSE: AAPL) demanding punitive damages. According to the judge, the claims have no basis. As required for a conversion claim, the judge stated that Apple failed to provide strong evidence to show ownership or right of possession.
The initial case of Epic expecting the court to reinstate the removed Fortnite on the Apple store was not successful though the case will reappear before the court next year.
Background of the Legal Struggle between Apple and Epic Games
Apple is known for its monopolistic way of dictating prices, presenting its terms and conditions to all App developers who seek to tap into its huge audience. Apple requires 30% of revenues generated from sales to its users by App developers similar to what Google demands. This has been a bit too much for some App developers but has no option but to comply.
The real story began on August 13, 2020, when Epic Games updated its Fortnite products. This ensured that consumers who purchase in-app upgrades with V-Bucks directly from Epic Games instead of Apple and the Google platform will have their prices slashed by 20%.
Surprisingly, Apple and Google reacted brutally by removing an unrelated Epic product named Unreal Engines from their platforms. This software is mostly used by companies in the movies and games sector to create entertainment from its App store. This is done to punish Fortnite. It did not end there as Google and Apple went the extra mile to remove Fortnite from their platforms.
In response, Epic Games Inc. noticed an Antitrust Violation and sued both Google and Apple. Epic Games Inc. believes that Apple overcharges its customers being the reason for its decision to sell in-app products through the Epic Platform. Apple, on the other hand, does not enjoy the price competition being the reason for that brutal response.
In late August, Epic Games opted for a court order to prevent Apple from temporal removal of the Fortnite but was denied by the court. Apple made a counterclaim to prevent Epic from using the Epic Games payment platform for Fortnite. Also, Apple demanded monetary damages from Epic Games for breaching contracts after accusing them of theft.
The judge informed Apple that the case is nothing but a breach of contract and Antitrust violation. She stated that it is not right to say it is independently wrongful unless they have facts. Having stuck to the ongoing breach of contract case, she dismissed the two cases presented by Appl.
In an email statement, Apple expressed their disagreement with the decision of the judge emphasizing that Epic breached their contract. According to them, Epic installed an unapproved and unreviewed feature on its App in a bid to violate the guidelines of Apple. The same guidelines that apply to every other developer on the platform were violated by Epic according to Apple, stating they will make things right for them in their next court appearance.
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