Apple and Epic Games Return to Court Over Fortnite App

The ongoing legal battle between Apple and Games resumed today, with lawyers for both companies meeting in the United States Court of Appeals to attempt to get the initial ruling from last year overturned.

The ‌Epic Games‌ v. Apple saga started way back in 2020 when ‌Epic Games‌ started allowing players to make purchases directly in the app, skirting the in-app purchase rules. Apple quickly pulled the Fortnite app from the App Store, and ‌Epic Games‌ was ready with an antitrust lawsuit over Apple's ‌App Store‌ rules.

‌Epic Games‌ aimed to get the court to allow for third-party app stores and alternate methods of getting apps on iOS devices, but ‌Epic Games‌ largely lost the lawsuit, leading it to file an appeal. Apple won the antitrust suit, but was ordered to allow developers to add in-app links to outside websites where payments could be accepted.

Apple does not want to change its ‌App Store‌ rules and also appealed, leading to the court battle today. Epic Games will argue that the court made “multiple legal errors” in its initial ruling, once again arguing for sideloading to be allowed.

Apple maintains that ‌Epic Games‌ lost the trial because of “unprecedented” and “unfounded” accusations of anticompetitive conduct that ultimately did not sway the judge. Epic, says Apple, made far-reaching claims at the edges of antitrust law, and there is no basis for the ruling to be overturned on appeal. Apple will also argue that the original court made an error when implementing an injunction that will force ‌App Store‌ changes.

Apple claims that because it was not found to be engaging in anticompetitive behavior, the ‌App Store‌ rules are not unfair and the district court did not have the authority to mandate an injunction.

The ‌Epic Games‌ v. Apple appeal will kick off in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. The appeal is being livestreamed on YouTube for those who are interested in watching.

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