Apple Denies Violating Court Order In Epic Games Lawsuit

Apple Court Games Lawsuit

On Friday, iPhone maker Apple (AAPL.O) denied violating a court order governing its App Store and urged a California federal judge, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, to reject a request by “Fortnite” developer Epic Games to hold it in contempt. Apple submitted its arguments in a filing to the court.

In the filing, Apple criticized what it called an attempt by Epic to make Apple’s “tools and technologies available to developers for free.” It accused Epic of seeking to “micromanage Apple’s business operations in a way that would increase Epic’s profitability.” Epic declined to comment on Apple’s assertions.

Epic Games had filed a lawsuit in 2020 accusing Apple of violating antitrust law with its tight controls over how consumers download apps and pay for transactions within them. Although Epic largely lost the case against Apple, Judge Gonzalez Rogers ordered Apple in 2021 to give developers greater freedom to guide app users to alternative payment methods for digital goods. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Apple’s appeal of the injunction order in January.

Last month, Epic alleged in a court filing that Apple was in “blatant violation” of the court’s injunction. It pointed to Apple’s imposition of a 27% fee on developers for some purchases, which the video game maker said rendered links for alternative payment options “commercially unusable.” Epic also claimed that Apple barred some apps from informing users about other ways to pay for goods.

Meta and others

Meta Platforms (META.O), Microsoft (MSFT.O), Elon Musk’s X, and Match Group (MTCH.O) echoed Epic’s arguments, telling Judge Gonzalez Rogers that Apple was in “clear violation” of the court’s order.

In a similar case brought by Epic against Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google, a judge in San Francisco is expected to issue a separate injunction affecting the Google Play Store later this year.

The ongoing legal battle between Epic Games and Apple has significant implications for the tech industry and app developers. District Court for the Northern District of California under docket number 20-05640.