Epic 'does not dispute' breaking App Store rules in latest filing

Fortnite Save The World
Fortnite Save The World (Image credit: Epic Games)

What you need to know

  • Epic Games has answered Apple's countersuit against the company.
  • It says it doesn't dispute that its competing payment system broke App Store guidelines.
  • Epic says it plans to move the Court for a judgment on Apple's claims.

In a filing to answer Apple's countersuit against the company, Epic Games has told a court it does not dispute that its competing payment system broke App Store guidelines, but that it stands by its refusal to abide by Apple's rules.

Apple has previously filed a counterclaim against Epic Games for breach of contract over its decision to breach App Store guidelines. Now, in a new filing, Epic says it does not dispute that it breached App Store guidelines and its contract with Apple in offering a competing payment system. From the answers:

Epic does not dispute that this competing payment solution was prohibited by contractual provisions that Apple has unlawfully forced on developers like Epic who sell in-app digital content, even though Apple allows numerous other app developers to use competing solutions. Epic also does not dispute that, if Apple's contracts were lawful, all in-app purchases made by Fortnite users on iOS would be subject to Apple's 30% tax, even though Apple has exempted numerous other developers from this tax. But Epic denies that its refusal to abide by Apple's anti-competitive scheme was in any way wrongful. Epic looks forward to proving at trial that the agreements on which Apple bases its counterclaims are illegal and unenforceable.

As noted by FOSSPatents, Epic is going to move the court to issue a judgment on Apple's claims.

Epic makes several claims in defense of its actions with regard to a countersuit. Notably, Apple's contracts are illegal and unenforceable, anti-competitive, and the rest.

Most interestingly, Epic also tries to argue that Apple has previously deemed Epic's conduct okay because it has previously accepted hotfixes for apps on the App Store. From FOSSPatents:

Epic can't be serious about Apple's acceptance of unharmful hotfixes precluding Apple in any way from taking action against an outright breach of its in-app payment provision. Epic's "hotfix" here was just that the server told the client (the Fortnite app) to activate a certain feature that had been hidden from Apple. It wasn't a "fix" or a simple addition of content such as another island on which to have a battle royale. It was simply the remote activation of something that Epic itself says, in the document shown above, "was prohibited by contractual provisions."

In the latest development in the case, Apple and Epic have agreed their cases should be heard by a judge, rather than before a jury.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9