Epic Games Loses Again on Restoring Fortnite to Apple Store

(Bloomberg) — Epic Games Inc. failed again to force Apple Inc. to put Fortnite back in the mobile app store while the game developer pursues its antitrust claims against the iPhone maker.A federal judge in Oakland, California on Friday rejected Epic’s bid for a preliminary injunction that would have required Apple to reinstate the battle royale video game in the app store. Apple had removed Fortnite in August after Epic set up a direct-pay option for in-game purchases that circumvented Apple’s pay system.It’s Epic’s second setback in its lawsuit alleging that Apple runs its mobile-app store as an illegal monopoly because developers are barred from making their iPhone and iPad apps available through their own websites. Instead, Apple allows only downloads and payments through its App Store, and takes 30% of the purchase price. The case is now headed for trial next year.In a consolation for Epic, the judge stuck with her earlier ruling that Apple can’t cut Epic’s Unreal Engine from its developers’ tool program because the software program that is used by third-party developers isn’t part of the antitrust fight.Behind the Apple Versus Fortnite App Store Battle: QuickTakeApple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Unreal Engine is a suite of software used by developers to build 3-D games and other products. Cutting off Epic from Apple’s iOS and Mac developer tools would mean the gaming company can no longer distribute Unreal Engine to other developers, Epic has said. Microsoft Corp., which makes the Xbox, uses the technology for games developed for consoles, PCs and mobile devices, and is backing Epic in court.Apple has said that Epic Chief Executive Officer Tim Sweeney sought a “side” deal seeking an exclusive storefront for Fortnite, a move that Apple executives argued would fundamentally upend how the App Store works. Sweeney maintains he wasn’t asking for special treatment but for Apple to make the same option available to all developers.The case is Epic Games Inc. v. Apple Inc., 20-cv-05640, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (Oakland).(Updates with request for comment from Apple)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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