Apple last week told the maker of the popular video game Fortnite that it wouldn't be allowed to return to the App Store until its legal dispute with the tech giant was resolved. The decision marked the latest sign that Epic Games' litigation against the iPhone maker will continue to resonate among mobile marketers and app developers.
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney tweeted that he had asked Apple to reinstate his company's developer account, which was suspended since last year. At that time, Epic tried to offer its own in-app payment (IAP) system in Fortnite that avoided paying commissions to Apple. The move violated Apple's rules, leading the company to remove the game from its App Store. Epic responded by suing Apple for violating antitrust laws and abusing its power over app marketplaces.
Fast forward to September 2021, when a judge ruled that Apple had the right to remove Fortnite because Epic breached its contract with the App Store owner. Epic plans to appeal that verdict, while other parts of the ruling by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers will continue to shape the app ecosystem. Mike Woosley is chief operating officer at data management company Lotame:
|"A lot of the press coverage of the ruling has taken the view that it mostly a loss for Epic -- I don't totally agree with that. The ruling says that Apple will have to make a change to allow app developers to collect payment from customers without having to give Apple 30%. Epic didn't win its argument that Apple was a monopoly, but that would have been hard for a judge to rule on. Those cases take years, sometimes decades. They're hard to prove and take tons of data -- which is why they're usually advanced by either the Federal Trade Commission or Department of Justice in the U.S."|