Apple was within its rights to prohibit Fortnite.
The verdict in the Epic Games vs. Apple court dispute this week resulted in gains and losses for both parties. Although Apple cannot prevent links to third-party payment systems on its platform, the judge found that Apple properly barred Fortnite from iOS and is entitled to damages due to Epic’s breach of contract.
The most important judgement in the recent verdict was an injunction stating that Apple cannot prevent developers on its iOS platform from linking to payment methods outside of iOS. This could cost Apple billions in long-term profits, but the judge ruled that Epic still broke Apple’s rules when it linked to its own payment option at the time the case began last year.
Epic sued Apple last year for banning Fortnite from iOS. Apple did that because Epic started directing Fortnite customers on iOS to pay for in-game items through Epic direct pay, cutting Apple out of the 30 percent commission it collects on transactions in most apps.
Epic received $12,167,719 in revenue from Fortnite through Epic direct pay between August and October of last year, according to a 185-page judgement. It must now pay Apple 30% of the money, as well as “30% of any such revenue Epic Games receives from November 1, 2020 through the date of judgement.” This equates to at least $3.6 million.
The court also states that Apple was perfectly within its rights to remove Epic from iOS, despite the fact that it can no longer prevent developers from doing what Epic did. Epic has attempted to return to iOS, at least in South Korea, after South Korea enacted a regulation late last month preventing app store operators from putting their own payment systems on developers. So far Apple has refused, and the ruling may indicate Apple will never be under any obligation to let Epic back in.
Both companies are expected to appeal parts of the ruling.