Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Apple likens Fortnite creator to a shoplifter in court filing

Apple on Friday urged a court not to give Epic Games a reprieve from being kicked out of iOS, saying the firm acted akin to a shoplifter by inserting its own payment system into Fortnite.

Why it matters: The battle between Apple and Epic is a high-stakes one, with Apple risking attracting even more antitrust scrutiny and Epic potentially not only seeing Fortnite permanently banned from the App Store, but also left unable to update its Unreal gaming engine.


Details: In Friday's filing, Apple urged a federal district court in San Francisco to deny Epic's request for a temporary restraining order, insisting the “emergency” is entirely of Epic’s own making and saying restraining orders "exist to remedy irreparable harm, not easily reparable self-inflicted wounds,"

  • "If developers can avoid the digital checkout, it is the same as if a customer leaves an Apple retail store without paying for shoplifted product: Apple does not get paid," Apple said in the filing.

Flashback: Earlier this month, Epic added its own in-app payment system to Fortnite for both iOS and Android. The same day, Apple and Google both removed the game from their app stores and Epic filed suit against both companies.

  • With Android, Epic continues to make Fortnite available directly. That's not an option with Apple, which only allows iOS apps to be downloaded via its App Store.
  • Epic later filed for a restraining order, saying that Apple informed it that it could lose developer access by the end of the month.

The new court papers show that Epic was trying to alter its arrangement with Apple for months.

  • According to Apple, Epic emailed the company on June 30 seeking to allow its own Epic Games Store app as a way for iOS users to install the company's games directly, bypassing Apple's payment system.

What they're saying: "Over the last several months, Epic has demanded that Apple make various changes to Epic’s rights and obligations under its contracts that would be destructive to Apple’s basic business model.," Apple fellow Phil Schiller said in a declaration accompanying Friday's filing.

  • "When Apple refused to fundamentally alter the way it does business to appease Epic, Epic resorted to sudden, unilateral action that blatantly breached its contracts with Apple, and simultaneously filed this lawsuit, which seeks to justify its deliberate breaches after the fact."

Between the lines: Apple says Epic has no antitrust case against it because it can’t possibly monopolize the mobile app market, given competition from Google. (Epic maintains that Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store are in fact discrete markets, each a monopoly in its own right.)

  • Apple says its policies are similar not only to those used by Google, Amazon and Microsoft for their platforms, but also to other game marketplaces such as Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo and Steam.

What's next: A hearing on Epic's request for a restraining order is scheduled for Monday at 3 p.m. PT.

Go deeper:

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories