APPLE FILES, Countersuit Against Epic’s Breach-Of-Contract


Apple Files

While Fortnite stays off the App Store, Apple files a countersuit against Epic Games’ attempt to breach the App Store policy and avoid paying fees. This comes after a District Court ruling that kept both parties rather on a balance, ordering Apple not to block Epic’s Unreal Engine while the subject game (Fortnite) should remain out of the App Store unless it comply with Apple’s rule. However, Apple’s lawsuit alleged that Epic deliberately in breach of contract and so request that the court should award damages that will potentially prohibit Epic from attempting anything like this in the future.

The whole drama began in mid-August when Epic deliberately slipped in an in-game payment for Fortnite that made it skip Apple’s 30% cut, and gradually launched a PR campaign calling Apple a monopoly and the App Store rules unfair practice. Apple responded by banning Epic’s account from the App Store and could’ve gone ahead to block Epic Games Unreal Engine after the ban, it equally made it clear that this action could be avoided by the game giant by simply removing or adjusting the in-game payment. However, Epic sought to have a court reverse the ban but only succeeded in restoring accounts that are not related to Fortnite.

At the moment, it’s evident Epic intends to show that Apple is practically a monopoly and the iOS giant practice should be deemed unlawful, while on the other hand, Apple aims to show that isn’t true – instead, the company has filed this suit that alleged Epic wrongdoing. However, it wrote:  

“Although Epic portrays itself as a modern corporate Robin Hood, in reality, it is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that simply wants to pay nothing for the tremendous value it derives from the App Store.

“While Epic and its CEO take issue with the terms on which Apple has since 2008 provided the App Store to all developers, this does not provide cover for Epic to breach binding contracts, dupe a longtime business partner, pocket commissions that rightfully belong to Apple, and then ask this Court to take a judicial sledgehammer to one of the 21st Century’s most innovative business platforms simply because it does not maximize Epic’s revenues”.

While the drama takes a different dimension based on Apple filing, it’s important to state that it won’t be necessary to analyze the case in detail, while we are still miles away from the point when the two giants’ claims and counterclaims could be summed-up and compared, it will be right to focus on the court ruling based on the filing. This is because it will take weeks before the preliminary injunction against Apple is decided, and more paper would’ve piled prior to that.

But there are concerns whether a structured company like Apple, which has total control over its hardware-software ecosystem, qualifies a monopoly. If it isn’t, its countersuit filed against Epic will practically put the game giant in a bad position. If it’s eventually figured out that it is, then Epic’s unlawful act would be justified.

It’s anticipated Apple’s countersuit would follow after Epic’s, considering Epic’s high-profile breach of contract it demonstrated, although Apple is yet to specify the scale of damage it seeks, as analyst anticipates eight digits.

What is your take as Apple files countersuit against Epic?