Apple vs Epic Games: Apple Emerges Victorious In Fortnite Dispute

The dispute between Epic and Apple continues. Following the 2021 ruling, a US appeals court has ruled in Apple's favour on Epic Games' lawsuit against the tech company.

Epic vs Apple
The battle between Epic vs Apple continues. | © Epic Games / Apple

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled in favour of Apple in the legal dispute between Epic Games and Apple Inc. following the 2021 decision. Although the litigation has been over for nearly two years, it continues to contribute to the ongoing legal tensions between Apple and Epic Games that began in 2020.

Epic Games vs Apple: Who Won?

Recall that Apple had revoked Epic's Fortnite developer account in August 2020, blocking distribution of Fortnite on its devices, after Epic intentionally circumvented the contractually mandated app store payment mechanisms in its Fortnite iOS app - a move Apple has since called a "willful breach of contract."

If you're not quite up to speed, feel free to read it all chronologically here:

But it seems the dispute is not over yet.

US Appeals Court Rules In Favour Of Apple In Fortnite Dispute

Now the US Court of Appeals has ruled in favour of Apple, confirming that Apple's practice of banning third-party marketplaces did not violate antitrust law.

In addition, the appeals court also upheld Epic's rejection of Apple's claim that it had a monopoly on these transactions. The three-judge panel stated:

"There is a vigorous and important debate about the role that online transaction platforms with market power play in our economy and democracy." However, it also reiterated that it does not intend to reach a definitive conclusion in this discourse.

Nine out of ten claims decided by the court were decided in Apple's favour, which the company calls a "resounding victory". However, Apple says it disagrees with the decision on the remaining claim and is "considering further review".

In a tweet posted shortly after this new development in the case, Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games commented on the situation.

So, in plain English, this means that the Apple vs Epic debate is still not over after 3 years, and for the foreseeable future Fortnite will still not be available on the iOS Store.

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