Federal Judge Tosses Apple's Theft Claims in Ongoing Epic Games Legal Fight
A California federal judge on Tuesday dismissed some of Apple's counterclaims against Epic Games in its ongoing antitrust battle over Apple's App Store fees (via Bloomberg).
Apple and Epic have been in a legal fight since August, when Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic Games introduced a direct payment option in the app, defying the App Store rules. Epic Games promptly filed a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of anti-competitive actions.
In September, Apple filed a counter suit to stop the game maker from using its own payment system for Fortnite. Apple also accused Epic of theft and sought extra monetary damages beyond breach of contract.
In October, Epic filed a motion ahead of Tuesday's hearing seeking the dismissal of Apple's counterclaims of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and conversion, along with its punitive damages bid.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted Epic Games' motion for judgement, throwing out Apple's two claims for lost App Store fees and other monetary damages.
"This is a high-stakes breach of contract case and an antitrust case and that's all in my view," Gonzalez told Apple's lawyers, according to Bloomberg. "You can't just say it's independently wrongful. You actually have to have facts," the judge said, adding that the rest of the breach-of-contract case moves forward.
Apple told Bloomberg that it disagreed with the judge's decision, adding that it was clear that Epic breached its contract with the company. Epic in October had a preliminary injunction dismissed by the same judge, meaning Fortnite will remain unavailable on the App Store for the duration of the lawsuit, assuming that the app remains in violation of the App Store Review Guidelines. The case continues.
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