Epic Games said late on Friday that it has asked a court to stop what it saw as Apple Inc’s retaliation against the Fortnite writer after the iPhone maker terminated Epic Games’ account on its App Store. Epic Games filed for a preliminary injunction that would put its game back in the App Store and restore its developer account. The filing used to be made in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.
It argued that Epic Games is “likely to suffer irreparable harm” in the absence of a preliminary injunction and that “the balance of harms tips sharply in Epic’s favor”.
The filing described the iPhone maker as a “monopolist” that maintains its monopolies by “explicitly prohibiting any competitive entry”.
Late final week, Apple terminated Epic Games’ account on its App Store amid a valid battle over the iPhone maker’s in-app payment guidelines and accusations they constitute a monopoly.
Apple said final week its move will not have an effect on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, a software tool relied on by hundreds of other app makers.
But the move meant iPhone users won’t be able to download Fortnite or other Epic titles through the Apple App Store.
“This used to be a lucid warning to any other developer that would dare challenge Apple’s monopolies: follow our rules or we can cut you off from a billion iOS consumers – challenge us and we can destroy your trade,” Epic Games said in Friday’s filing.
Apple pulled Epic Games after the preferred games writer implemented a feature to let iPhone users make in-app purchases directly, somewhat than the use of Apple’s in-app purchase system, which charges commissions of 30%.
Apple had said it would allow Fortnite back into the store whether Epic removed the direct payment feature. But Epic refused to take action, saying complying with Apple’s request would be “to collude with Apple to care for their monopoly over in-app payments on iOS.”
Must the government provide an explanation for why Chinese apps were banned? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you’ll be able to subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.