Judge says that Epic's lawsuit against Apple should go to trial by jury

Free Fortnite
Free Fortnite (Image credit: Epic Games)

What you need to know

  • Epic v. Apple had a hearing today about Epic's request for a preliminary injunction.
  • Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers seems unlikely to grant such a request.
  • The judge recommended that the case goes to trial by jury, with a potential July 2021 court date.

Reported by MacRumors, Epic seems unlikely to win its request for a preliminary injunction in its lawsuit against Apple. Today, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who is overseeing the case, declined to order Apple to permit Fortnite back into the App Store without complying to the rules currently set forth by the company.

When Epic attempted to argue against Apple's 30% App Store fee, Judge Rogers pointed out that every other platform, including Google Play, Xbox, and Playstation, charge the same rate.

Epic Game continued to argue that Apple has an App Store monopoly and charges excessive fees, but the judge pointed out that the 30 percent rate that Apple collects is the "industry rate" collected by PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Google, and more. "It's all 30 percent and you just want to gloss over it," the judge said to Epic's lawyers. In response, Epic claimed that consoles are "different" because the hardware is sold at a loss, but the judge was unconvinced. "There doesn't seem to be evidence supporting what you're saying," she said.

Apple, in response to Epic's desire to build its own store within Apple's App Store, says that the company does not permit this in order to protect the "safety, security, and privacy of its users."

Epic said that it wants to create its own store to distribute apps on iOS, but Apple's anticompetitive behavior prohibits it. In response, Apple's lawyers said the request was an indictment of Apple's "entire business model" focused on the "safety, security, and privacy of its users."

Judge Rogers, concerning Epic's request for an injunction that would allow Fortnite back into the App Store, says that the court does not provide injunctions for contractual disputes, which she believes Epic's case against Apple to be.

She also reiterated that Epic Games made a "calculated decision" to defy Apple's App Store rules, and the court doesn't provide injunctions for contractual disputes. Epic was "not forthright," she said. "There are people in the public who consider you guys heroes for what you did, but it's not honest."

In closing, Judge Rogers recommended that the case should go to trial by jury. If it does, the case is expected to be heard by July of 2021. If you want a play-by-play of today's hearing, check out Patrick McGee, a correspondent from the Financial Times, who posted a detailed thread on Twitter:

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Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.