A federal judge on Monday barred Apple Inc. from shutting down an Epic Games tool that hundreds of other app makers relied on, but which had become the subject of an antitrust battle between the companies.
The guarantees of judgment Fortnite Infographic software from creator Epic, Unreal Engine, which he offers through an affiliate company and which hundreds of games and other apps use to power their apps on Apple iPhones.
“Epic Games and Apple are free to continue, but their dispute should not wreak havoc on passers-by,” judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers wrote in a decision Monday night.
Legal battle erupted after Apple deleted Epic Fortnite game from the Apple App Store and an affiliate account – effectively blocking the distribution of Unreal Engine – when Epic rolled out its own in-game purchase method in Fortnite, rather than using the required Apple system which charges a commission of between 15 and 30 percent.
Epic then alleged in a lawsuit and a social media campaign that Apple had engaged in anti-competitive behavior by abusing its dominance in the iPhone app market, thus marking the most significant challenge to the business of retail stores. ‘applications.
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Epic had sought to overturn its sanctions by Apple until the larger matter could be decided.
Gonzalez Rogers said: âThe current situation [with Fortnite] appears of its own making “and refused to order its reinstatement. But it allowed Unreal Engine to continue to power iPhone apps, claiming that Apple’s actions against Epic’s affiliates had been too harsh because they didn’t had not violated the iPhone manufacturer’s policies as Fortnite had.
In a terse exchange with Apple attorney Richard Doren at a hearing Monday, the judge said she saw “no competition” from the Apple App Store on the iPhone.
“The question is, without competition, where does the 30 percent [App Store commission] comes from? Why isn’t it 10? Twenty? How does the consumer benefit from it? âShe asked.
Doren responded that consumers have a choice when deciding whether to buy an Android device or an iPhone.
âThe competition is in the market,â he said, reiterating an argument that has been central to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s defense during congressional antitrust hearings.
Gonzalez Rogers replied that there was “a lot of economic theory” to show that rebranding was imposing costs on consumers.
She at one point muted Doren in the virtual procedure. Doren later said Apple would prove at trial that “people change all the time.”