Epic and Apple Lawsuit Update: Judge Says Epic Was Dishonest to Bypass Apple Store
This is a tale that isn’t going to be going away anytime soon. Yesterday, a US judge heard arguments in the Epic vs. Apple antitrust lawsuit. Apple criticizes how Epic handled trying to go around the Apple storefront for purchasing the in-game currency for Fortnite. Epic Games, on the other hand, feels Apple has a stranglehold on the market and deals with many games unfairly. This all led to Fortnite being removed from the App Store, but we now have a little more news on the situation.
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This comes courtesy of Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. What’s interesting about this is that while many outside of the argument seem to lean towards Epic’s side, Judge Yvonne felt skeptical. In particular, Judge Gonzalez Rogers was skeptical on the claim that Epic did not pose a security threat to Apple, as a well-established company.
CNN reported on the news, providing this quote from the hearing:
“You did something, you lied about it by omission, by not being forthcoming. That’s the security issue. That’s the security issue! There are a lot of people in the public who consider you guys heroes for what you guys did, but it’s still not honest.”
The judge heard the Epic and Apple lawsuit issues over Zoom, across a three-hour meeting. However, there are yet to be any answers for either side. So we have no idea about how this is going to go down. We have heard that there will be a decision in the coming days, so we’ll keep you posted.
Perhaps most interesting of all is that Judge Gonzalez Rogers recommends that the case go to a jury trial next year to settle this once and for all. As real people are being affected in this, the judge feels that real people should be the ones to make a decision on who is guilty and who is not.
Judge Rogers is reportedly not persuaded by Epic’s arguments and does not particularly agree with Epic that Apple has harmed its ability to distribute Fortnite via control of the App Store. Why? All major consoles and platforms have their own storefronts. The PSN, Nintendo Shop, Xbox Marketplace – these things have existed for years without issues. In particular, this was weighed in on:
“Walled gardens have existed for decades,” said the judge. “Nintendo has had a walled garden. Sony has had a walled garden. Microsoft has had a walled garden. What Apple’s doing is not much different… It’s hard to ignore the economics of the industry, which is what you’re asking me to do.”
If this does in fact go to a trial with a jury, there’s no telling what will happen as a result. We think that perhaps people would be biased and rule in favor of Epic, out of loyalty or respect for Epic’s “standing up to Apple”. It may backfire on them though. That’s what we currently know about the judge’s ruling on the Epic and Apple lawsuit. We don’t know a lot, sadly, but a ruling is on the way.
Where do you stand so far though? We’d love to know!