Apple says Epic Games CEO wanted a side deal for Fortnite

Apple responded to Epic Games’ lawsuit, accusing it of anti-competitive behavior in how it controls the App Store, telling the court that the Fortnite maker has violated Apple’s rules and should not be temporarily reinstated. placed the store while the legal battle was raging.

In its submission, Apple claims that Epic Games requested an individual arrangement with Apple, and produced three emails from Epic CEO Tim Sweeney supporting their claim.

This is Apple’s first major legal reaction to Epic Games after the dispute between the two companies spilled in the courts. It comes the week after Epic Games released a direct payment mechanism in Fortnite, designed to bypass the App Store’s payment system, of which Apple is taking a 30% cut. Apple later removed Fortnite from its store for violating its policies. People who already have Fortnite installed on their iPhones can continue playing, but will not be able to update or download the app for the first time.

Epic sued Apple in an attempt to force it to change its business practices and launched a “free Fortnite” marketing campaign that portrays Apple as the villain.

Special deal?

Sweeney said earlier this month that Epic is not seeking a “special deal” with Apple that other makers of iOS app will not get.

But in Friday’s submission, Apple disputed that point.

“On June 30, 2020, the CEO of Epic, Tim Sweeney, my colleagues and I wrote an email asking for a ‘page later’ from Apple that would make a special deal for only Epic that the way Epic apps offered on Apple’s iOS would fundamentally change platform, “wrote former Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller in a statement. Schiller, whose title is now Fellow, runs Apple’s App Store.

Apple said Sweeney asked permission for Epic to divert in-app purchases and pay Fortnite players directly. Schiller said Sweeney emailed him this morning that Forntite had changed its payment mechanism, saying it “would no longer comply with Apple’s restrictions on Apple’s payment processing.”

Epic has requested a temporary restraining order that would put Fortnite back in the App Store. A hearing on that order is scheduled for Monday in the Northern District of California.

“In the wake of their own voluntary actions, Epic is now seeking emergency assistance. But the ’emergency’ is entirely from Epic’s own capacity,” Apple’s lawyers said in the submission.

Apple says that if Epic were to remove the payment mechanism it introduced, it would allow Fortnite to return to the App Store, and would not disable Epic’s developer account. If Epic lost its Apple developer accounts, Fortnite would not only not be able to publish to iPhones, but would also hinder the development of the Unreal Engine, software that helps programmers create games, and is used in hundreds of apps. many other companies.