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Fortnite Apple lawsuit: Everything to know about the Federal Trial starting on May 3rd

Fortnite Apple lawsuit: Everything revealed about the Federal Trial starting from May 3rd
Fortnite Apple lawsuit: Everything revealed about the Federal Trial starting from May 3rd
Dipanjan Dey
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 03 May 2021
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The Fortnite Apple lawsuit antitrust trial is scheduled to start on May 3rd, 2021. Epic Games has been matched up in an uphill legal war with Apple Inc. with Fortnite at its epicenter.

Fortnite players on the iPhone have been deprived of new updates since August 27th, 2020. Naturally, several players have shifted to PC or console in order to play and experience the latest updates in Fortnite.

All of this started when Epic Games added a secondary microtransaction feature in-game, which according to Apple was a breach of trust. Epic's goal from this trial was to get Fortnite back on iOS and also establish a secondary transaction system bypassing Apple.

The verdict in the Apple vs Epic Games case could change the way smartphones are used, according to reports from the Washington Post.

This article will discuss every detail disclosed about the Fortnite vs Apple antitrust trial.

Fortnite Apple lawsuit: Everything revealed so far about the Apple vs Epic Games legal battle that starts on May 3rd, 2021

The Apple vs Epic Games trial starts on May 3rd, with U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers presiding over the case. The case is being held in San Francisco, and the verdict will determine whether Fortnite is returning to iPhones.

In August 2020, Epic Games updated the “Fortnite” iPhone app to offer players the chance to pay Epic directly, bypassing Apple’s payment processing system and its 30 percent commission.

Epic Games stated that its case is against Apple's in-app payment systems, which charges commissions of up to 30%. Epic's lawyers stated that Apple had monopolized the market for software developers.

Apple responded to this by removing “Fortnite” from the iOS App Store. This stopped all updates for Fortnite gamers using iPhones. The game remained stuck in Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 3 while others progressed to Marvel-themed Season 4.

The two tech giants went back and forth while players waited in anticipation to play Fortnite on iPhones again. #FreeFortnite became a social media movement to bring back Fortnite on iPhones.

According to the Washington Post, both sides accepted a “bench trial,” which means there won’t be a jury.

District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has previously admonished Fortnite's publishers for their tactics. Epic Games agreed that they knew the risks and that they were "baiting Apple into kicking Fortnite off the App Store."

The entire narrative might narrow down to one particular question: "What is the market that these two tech giants are fighting over?" Epic Games explained that the case is about iPhones and that Apple has a monopoly on the market.

On the other hand, Apple lawyers assert that the market in question constitutes all gaming platforms that range from mobiles to PCs and consoles. They state that Apple has no monopoly whatsoever over that domain.

The Apple vs Epic Games case will come down to how District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers interprets existing antitrust laws. Epic’s founder and CEO, Tim Sweeney, will be taking a stand to testify against Apple. Similarly, Apple CEO Tim Cook will also take a stand to state that their antitrust claims against Epic Games are legitimate.

Apple CEO Tim Cook will take the stand to state their antitrust claims against Epic Games (Image via Apple Insider)
Apple CEO Tim Cook will take the stand to state their antitrust claims against Epic Games (Image via Apple Insider)

Amid all this, the Fortnite mobile gaming community is suffering the most. Epic Games tapped into a larger audience when it introduced Fortnite on iOS and Google Play Store. The future of that community depends on this verdict.

For now, Fortnite gamers using iPhones can only wait patiently.

Published 03 May 2021
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