Apple’s counterclaims have been reduced by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers
Fortnite was removed from the Apple App Store in August
Both sides have cut fast and loose with the comments. When Apple accused Epic of stealing money from it, the developer responded by saying that it “could not and did not ‘steal’ the proceeds from the sales of its own creative efforts.” Last month, Apple said in a filing that “Stated simply, Epic is stealing money from Apple. Theft is a crime, and ‘conversion’ is its civil-law analogue. The victim of theft has always had the right to sue for conversion to get its property back from the thief— irrespective of the technical means by which the conversion is accomplished. And if Epic bypassed IAP to funnel funds that include Apple’s revenues and commissions into Epic’s coffers, a conversion claim can be— and has been— properly pleaded.”
Epic’s main legal point is that the developer shouldn’t have to adhere to the agreement it signed with Apple related to Fortnite’s App Store listing. That’s because it claims that those terms cannot be enforced under antitrust laws. In August, the judge said that the case could go either way. She said that this outlook remains the same even after most of Apple’s counterclaims were dismissed.
Last month, we pointed out that both Apple and Epic are accusing each other of taking advantage of the other’s hard work without making a payment. Apple says that Epic is using Fortnite’s App Store listing without paying Apple its 30% cut for that privilege. Epic says that “Apple’s repeated assertions of theft boil down to the extraordinary assertion that Epic’s collection of payments by players of Epic’s game, created from the work of Epic’s artists, designers, and engineers, is taking something that belongs to Apple.”
The hearing was conducted via Zoom.