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Fortnite: Apple hits back, accuses Epic of “starting a fire and pouring gasoline on it”

(Image Credit: The Verge)
(Image Credit: The Verge)
Izaak
ANALYST
Modified 17 Sep 2020, 23:33 IST
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The legal fight between Apple and Epic has certainly taken quite a few turns. Most recently, Apple has accused Epic of holding the Fortnite fanbase hostage, and of fabricating a business crisis in order to attack Apple.

Apple’s claims, Fortnite is just a tool to Epic

For background information about this ongoing dispute, how it involves Fortnite, and what it means for players across all platforms, make sure to read our other pieces on those topics.

With this filing, if Apple is to be believed, then it would seem that Epic has been using its own customers as fuel for their battle against Apple. During their filing, Apple reiterated that Epic can’t be considered “in crisis” as they could, at any point, simply agree to Apple’s terms of service in order to have Fortnite restored to the iOS marketplace.

During their statement, Apple wrote “If Epic were truly concerned that it would suffer reputational injury from this dispute, it would not be engaging in these elaborate efforts to publicize it,” referring to the various public interest campaigns and the #FreeFortnite commercial and tournament.

Apple demands its 30% cut, requires Fortnite remove direct payment

In their brief, Apple made sure to emphasize the points of the dispute which paint them in a good light, specifically how Epic violated their “agreement,” and how Epic used their dispute as a marketing campaign.

However, some of the points Apple made against Epic and Fortnite are blatantly contradictory. For instance, they claim to be owed a 30% commission, and that they don’t allow apps to use direct payment, however we have already seen that other apps do have direct payment options. This is a rule that seemingly only applies to apps which generate enough money to be noticed by Apple.

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Another problem is that Apple’s position does not in any way dismiss or dispute Epic’s core claim, that Apple is a monopolistic company with total control over its own marketplace. In fact, the very act of banning the sale of a product from all iOS devices, from claiming absolute stewardship of the digital space because they are the creators of the physical product, only reinforces Epic’s argument against Apple.

Apple’s strategy seems to be to solve this problem with money, to be so big and wealthy that it can make its own rules and enforce them whenever they choose. Regardless, with Apple digging its heels, it would appear that Fortnite for iOS is a long way off from coming back.

Published 17 Sep 2020, 23:33 IST
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