A US judge hearing arguments in Epic’s antitrust lawsuit against Apple has criticized the game developer’s decision to break the contract with the iPhone maker by pressing a version of Fortnite with a custom payment system for the App Store. The decision resulted in Apple removing Fortnite from the App Store.
During a hearing Monday with both companies, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the Northern District Court of California expressed skepticism of Epic’s arguments, especially the claim that it did not pose a security threat to Apple because it is a well-established company and partner.
“You did something, you lied about it by omission, by not being present. That̵
The three-hour hearing, which took place over Zoom, did not resolve any of the open questions in Epic’s ongoing antitrust lawsuit against Apple, including whether or not Fortnite will be allowed to return temporarily to the App Store. A decision on this issue is expected in the coming days, according to New York Times.
Judge Gonzalez Rogers, however, recommended that the case be taken to a jury trial in July next year to decide these cases permanently. “It’s important enough to understand what real people think,” Rogers said. “Do these security issues affect people or not?”
According to CNNJudge Rogers said she was “not particularly convinced” of Epic’s argument that Apple has merged the App Store and in-app payment system in violation of antitrust law. The judge also said she did not necessarily agree with Epic that Apple has harmed the ability to distribute Fortnite through its control of the App Store.
“Fenced gardens have been around for decades,” the judge said. Nintendo has had a fenced garden. Sony has had a fenced garden. Microsoft has had a fenced garden. What Apple does is not much different … It’s hard to ignore the economy of the industry, and that’s what you’re asking me to do. ”
The lawsuit between Apple and Epic has become a rallying cry for many developers who are dissatisfied with the iPhone maker’s App Store guidelines. Last week, companies including Epic, Spotify, Tile and Match Group formed the Coalition for App Fairness, with the aim of “defending the fundamental rights of creators to build apps and do business directly with their customers,” according to Epic CEO Tim Sweeney.