UPDATE: Judge Urges Apple and Epic to bring Antitrust Case before a Jury


29 Sep 2020

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has remarked on the high possibility that this legal dispute becomes a landmark judgment, one which tests the frontiers of antitrust law.

This is the sixth update in relation to the ongoing legal dispute concerning Epic and Apple. Should you wish to refer to our previous articles, they are accessible here, here, here, here and here respectively.

Throughout the duration of a three-hour video conference hearing, Epic and Apple presented their respective arguments. Epic continues to maintain that Apple’s unwillingness to allow for the use of its alternate payment systems is anti-competitive and monopolistic in its nature. The federal judge, presiding over this hearing, repeatedly faulted the creator of popular video game Fortnite on the tactics adopted in its case against Apple, but more specifically against the App Store.

Judge Gonzalez Rogers criticized Epic, for bringing its current problems on itself. "You were not forthright," she held. With regard to a separate in-app purchasing option she held "you were told you couldn't do and you did... You can try all you want, but you're not going to convince anybody that you tried to have Apple approve of it. It's self-harm.”

Epic is currently seeking to have its game reinstated to the App Store. As per our previous articles, accessible through the links provided above, Apple had removed the game from the App Store back in August. This decision was taken following Epic’s decision to circumvent Apple’s in-app payment system. Apple is advocating that it maintains a tight grasp over its App Store to keep customers’ data secure and private. Following this, a trial by jury was proposed to take place during July of next year. Judge Gonzalez Rogers held that “it is important enough to understand what real people think […] Do these security issues concern people or not?”

In the coming days, Judge Gonzalez Rogers is expected to deliver a written statement which will determine whether Apple would have to reinstate Fortnite to its App Store. First indications suggest that this will not be the case. Despite this, Judge Gonzalez Rogers seemed determined to protect Unreal Engine, as the removal of it from the App Store would cause “harm to the public”, referring to third-party iOS developers.

In lieu of the above, we will be providing updates on the progression of this evolving case as it happens. Should you require any further information about the above or assistance about gaming-related matters, do not hesitate to contact us at gaming@whpartners.eu.

The information being provided through this article is accurate as of 29th September 2020.