Fortnite maker Epic took the iPhone maker to court over what it argued were anticompetitive App Store rules, which require developers to use Apple’s payment system and take commissions of 30% on their sales.
This week, Apple told appellate judges that Epic had been unable to demonstrate any legal error that would justify overturning the ruling and that it had failed to put forward a reasonable alternative to existing App Store policies, Reuters reports.
“Epic asks the Judiciary to fundamentally change the App Store by forcing Apple to abandon the integrated distribution and digital-content delivery model that, among many other procompetitive benefits, helps safeguard user security and privacy,” the iPhone maker said in a court filing on Thursday.
Both companies are due to file a second round of arguments before a hearing is scheduled, which may not take place until next year.
The legal battle began in August 2020 after Epic moved to circumvent Apple’s platform fees with a new direct payment option in Fortnite, leading to the game’s removal from the App Store and the termination of Epic’s developer account.
Following the ruling, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney wrote to Apple asking it to reactivate the company’s Fortnite developer account and promising to “adhere to Apple’s guidelines whenever and wherever we release products on Apple platforms”.
But Apple rejected the request and said it wouldn’t consider letting Fortnite back on the App Store until its legal battle with Epic was complete.
A series of leaked modes discovered this week in Fortnite could suggest that the game’s recently introduced ‘no build’ mode will be added permanently.