Judge slams Epic Games action in case against Apple

This Monday, there was another hearing in the case of Epic Games and Apple, in which federal judge Yvonne Gonzรกlez Rogers criticized the actions of the creators of Fortnite. Recall that in August Apple removed the battle royal from the App Store after Epic Games added to the game the ability to bypass the payment system of the platformholder. According to Judge Rogers, given its schedule, the case is unlikely to be taken to court earlier than July of next year.

She also added that she would prefer the case to be heard in the juror court. The hearing will not determine the final outcome of the trial โ€” only whether the judge will grant Epics request Games on a preliminary injunction.

In addition, the hearing, which was broadcast through Zoom, allowed to learn in the judges early views on this case. As CNN notes, Judge Rogers was skeptical about many of Epics statements, several times explicitly telling the representatives of the company that it was not convinced by their arguments or their strategy.

The judge accused the company of dishonesty, as it knew that the update would break the contract with Apple, but still published it. Apple, in turn, justified its policy partly by the fact that it protects consumers from security threats and malicious software.

Epic countered that it has been doing a reliable business in the App Store for many years and does not pose any threat. However, Judge Rogers believes that this is not the problem.

According to her, Epic Games was not frank and lied knowingly, which can be seen as a security threat. Epics lawyers acknowledged that the company violated the agreement with Apple, but said Epic simply refused to fulfill an anti-competitive contract and that forcing litigation was part of the plan.

According to Epic, tens of millions of iOS users were affected by Apples decision to remove Fortnite from the App Store. The company claims that this decision reflects Apples iron control and illegal maintenance of monopoly.

Epic cited Apples payment system as an example. According to the lawyers, the company tied the two products together for anti-competitive benefits.

However, those arguments did not convince Judge Rogers. She did not see the App Store and the platforms payment system as two separate products.

She was also unconvinced by the arguments that Apple harmed Fortnites spread, as iOS players have many other ways to access the game. According to Judge Rogers, Apples strategy as a platforming holder is no different from the strategy of Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft.

Apple representatives, in turn, claim that the head of Epic Games Tim Sweeney is trying to lead a rebellion developers that could hurt Apples business model. According to the lawyer, a court ruling in favor of Epic would be a green light for other companies, which would be very dangerous.

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