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The company has given notice that it is appealing the September 10 verdict, which saw the judge in the case rule against Epic in nine of the 10 counts it had brought against Apple.
Epic’s lawsuit against the iPhone maker began in August 2020 after it 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.
Epic had called the 30 percent payment fees charged by Apple exorbitant and excessive compared to its operating costs. Because the iPhone firm does not allow any competing stores on its iOS platform and thus controls the release of apps on its devices, Epic alleged it’s running a “tech monopoly”.
In her verdict published on Friday, judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers denied Epic’s claims that Apple’s efforts to keep customers within the iOS ecosystem amounted to anticompetitive behaviour and concluded that it was not a monopolist under either federal or state antitrust laws.
The judge also agreed that Epic had breached its contract when it allowed users to buy Fortnite V-Bucks directly, circumventing the App Store’s 30 percent cut. As such, Epic must pay back 30% of the some $12 million it earned from August to October 2020, plus 30% of any money collected using the direct method since.
In the only ruling Epic succeeded in, beginning December 9 Apple will no longer be allowed to restrict developers from including links or buttons that point users to external payment options where they can pay for services without Apple taking a cut.
Judge Gonzalez Rogers agreed that Apple’s restrictions against such methods were in violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law and issued a permanent injunction against Apple.
Reacting to the “lost” case, Epic Games CEO and founder Tim Sweeney said this weekend that the company is “just as determined as ever to fight on until there is genuine developer and consumer freedom in software, and fair competition in each mobile platform software component.”