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Apple Seeks Punitive Damages In Battle Against Epic Games

Apple Inc. refuses to let the popular “Fortnite” video game maker gain any advantage in a California courtroom.

The Wall Street Journal reports the Cupertino, California-based multinational technology company has filed a counter lawsuit against Epic Games accusing the North Carolina software developer of greed and deceit in the fight over the iPhone maker’s App store online software store.

On Tuesday (Sept. 8) Apple asked the judge to award punitive damages and end Epic’s alleged unfair business practices.

“Epic’s lawsuit is nothing more than a basic disagreement over money,” Apple said in its filing. “Although Epic portrays itself as a modern corporate Robin Hood, in reality it is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that simply wants to pay nothing for the tremendous value it derives from the App Store.”

Epic declined to comment on the WSJ story.

“All Epic seeks is for the court to stop Apple from retaliating against Epic for daring to challenge Apple’s misconduct,” Epic said in last week’s filing.

The drama began last month when the game maker unveiled a payment platform designed to bypass the App Store’s payment system and its 30 percent commission.

In response, Apple said it would end Epic’s access to the App Store on Aug. 28, which it did, arguing that Epic violated Apple’s rules. Epic countered with a lawsuit alleging the tech giant’s practices are anti-competitive.

“Apple’s removal of Fortnite is yet another example of Apple flexing its enormous power in order to impose unreasonable restraints and unlawfully maintain its 100 percent monopoly over the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market,” Epic Games wrote in the legal filing.

In response Apple argued Epic wants special treatment and produced emails from Tim Sweeney, the game maker’s CEO, to prove it.

U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers for the Northern District of California issued a temporary split order.  She ruled the global consumer electronics and computer software company can’t block the game maker from accessing the tools of Unreal Engine, a popular game engine developed by Epic that is used to build 3-D games on Apple platforms.

But the court also denied the software company's motion to restore its Fortnite game to the App Store.  Gonzalez scheduled a hearing for Sept. 28 to make a final determination in the case.

 

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