Apple Files Legal Documents Opposing Epic’s Attempt to Have Fortnite Reinstated in the App Store

Devin Coldewey, reporting for TechCrunch:

Apple’s filing challenges the TRO request on several grounds. First, it contends that there is no real “emergency” or “irreparable harm” because the entire situation was concocted and voluntarily initiated by Epic:

Having decided that it would rather enjoy the benefits of the App Store without paying for them, Epic has breached its contracts with Apple, using its own customers and Apple’s users as leverage.

But the “emergency” is entirely of Epic’s own making…it knew full well what would happen and, in so doing, has knowingly and purposefully created the harm to game players and developers it now asks the Court to step in and remedy.


Apple also questions the likelihood of Epic’s main lawsuit (independent of the TRO request) succeeding on its merits — namely that Apple is exercising monopoly power in its rent-collecting on the App Store:

[Epic’s] logic would make monopolies of Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, just to name a few.

Epic’s antitrust theories, like its orchestrated campaign, are a transparent veneer for its effort to co-opt for itself the benefits of the App Store without paying or complying with important requirements that are critical to protect user safety, security, and privacy.

I see a lot of people arguing that iOS, in some ethical/moral/philosophical sense, is inherently a different sort of closed vendor-controlled computing platform than game consoles, but I don’t see a legal argument for how iOS constitutes a monopoly if Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch aren’t. Again, you’re not going to see Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo filing amicus briefs on Epic’s behalf, even though Microsoft has a game streaming platform Apple won’t allow on iOS, and Sony and Nintendo could.

Apple’s full filing is available here, and their attachments, including Phil Schiller’s declaration and Tim Sweeney’s laughably absurd “How about we make our own app store?” email, are right below it.

Friday, 21 August 2020