Apple is accusing Epic Games of breaching its contract with the iOS App Store. This move is another chapter in the ongoing legal battle between the tech and gaming companies sparked by the removal of Fortnite from the App Store. In a filing on Tuesday, Apple sites violations of their App Store policies as severe and largely impactful to the stability of the marketplace. Their allegations read, “Epic’s flagrant disregard for its contractual commitments and other misconduct has caused significant harm to Apple… Left unchecked, Epic’s conduct threatens the very existence of the iOS ecosystem and its tremendous value to consumers.” Apple is countersuing for its own damages as well as maintaining its stance on Fortnite’s removal.
Epic must reply to these accusations by September 18th, ahead of the full hearing which takes place on September 28th. This filing also offers defenses in response to Epic’s request for a preliminary injunction. This motion would essentially force Apple to reinstate Fortnite on the App Store, at least until the final judgment. Epic shared its concerns about losing iOS users who make up about 63% of Fortnite players. They also accused Apple of shutting them out from accessing the “one-billion-plus iOS users” for at least the next year.
Apple maintains that they are within their rights and justified in their reactions to Epic. The filing reads “At all times, [Apple’s] conduct was reasonable and … its actions were undertaken in good faith to advance legitimate business interests and had the effect of promoting, encouraging, and increasing competition.” A restraining order was introduced into the litigation, with a judge issuing protection to Epic’s Unreal Engine. Epic hopes to receive similar treatment for Fortnite through preliminary injunction after it was rejected under the restraining order. Whether the game will make its way back to the iOS App Store anytime soon remains to be seen.