Epic wins Fortnite lawsuit against Apple
Today a U.S. District Court judge ruled in Epic Games’ favor in its lawsuit against Apple. As a result, Apple can no longer dictate that purchases made in apps on its own devices go through the App Store. Apple had previously collected 30% of the revenue for purchases made in Epic Games' Fortnite.
Despite representing a significant victory for Epic that reduces Apple’s control over how in-app purchases are conducted, it was far from a sweeping win for the game publisher. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled against Epic on all other counts in the trial. Apple, she concluded, is not in violation of antitrust law, and does not need to allow Epic or other entities the freedom to create their own stores on Apple platforms. Additionally, Apple is not required to allow Fortnite back on the App Store.
Apple also denied Epic’s request to release the iOS version of Fortnite in South Korea, which just passed legislation that states Google and Apple cannot limit app developers to their own payment systems.
In 2020, Apple removed Fortnite from the iOS store after Epic offered its users a discount on V-Bucks if they purchased them outside of the App Store. Epic took this move in response to Apple collecting 30% of profits made from V-Buck purchases on Apple devices. The Fortnite developer launched a public campaign using the hashtag #FreeFortnite which framed Apple’s practice as unreasonable. This was quickly followed by Epic filing a lawsuit against Apple in August 2020.