Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the US District Court dismissed two Apple counterclaims this week that stemmed from a legal battle with Epic Games for the company’s antitrust / contract breach. Fortnite For iOS.
The underlying proceedings, As the average reader knowsDerived from Epic’s August Attempt Avoid Apple’s standard 30% commission on microtransactions by adding the “Epic Direct Payments” option to Fortnite For iOS. Apple immediately accused Apple of “anti-competitive behavior” because it considered it a breach of Epic’s development contract and, as a result, banned the game from the iOS App Store.
But this week’s ruling deals with the counterclaim filed by Apple in response to the proceedings. In those counterclaimsApple has introduced Epic Direct Payments (which will continue to be available in iOS versions of games for those who downloaded it before the App Store was removed) to “intentionally interfere” with Apple’s legitimate business. Insisted that it was equivalent. The company also sought additional punitive damages for what it considers to be “just theft” of a legitimate 30% fee.
“Epic describes itself as a modern-day company Robin Hood, but in reality, it’s the billion-dollar companies that want to pay nothing for the tremendous value they get from the App Store. “Apple said frankly in the September move.
But as a matter of law, Judge Rogers dismissed both of these counterclaims at a hearing on Tuesday, telling Apple’s attorney Anna Casey that the company was “losing this.” Report by Courthouse News And Bloomberg..
In a hearing, Casey claimed that Epic “has the money that Apple should own … Epic has abused the money that Apple should have.” But Rogers said that only 30% of these funds definitely belong to Apple, and, decisively, “30% are in dispute” in unresolved cases.
With respect to the allegations of “intentional interference,” Rogers is not convinced that Epic’s direct payment scheme is, as a matter of law, an “independent tort” separate from the core contract breach issue. It was. Rogers said, referring to Epic’s actions, “I can’t just say it’s independent and illegal. In reality, there must be facts.”
“This is a high stakes contract breach and antitrust proceeding, which is all my view,” Rogers said. And, despite Apple’s defeat here, as the case goes to trial, these two core elements of the case continue to be debated, scheduled for May.
“Epic has enabled features in the app that have not been reviewed or approved by Apple, with the clear intention that this violates the App Store guidelines that apply equally to all developers selling digital products and services. I have it, “Apple said in a statement. “Their reckless behavior has created a customer pawn, and we look forward to getting it right for them in court next May.”
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