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Epic Games appealing the Apple app store battle ruling

The lawfight continues...!

Though a judge largely ruled against Epic Games on Friday in their App Store legal battle with Apple sparked by Fortnite in-app purchases on iOS, clearly that wouldn't be the end. It isn't. On Sunday, Epic filed a notice that yes, they're appealing the ruling. At this point they haven't said precisely what they object to and why but, y'know, they want it to go their way.

At this stage of the process Epic have not raised specific objections. Sunday's notice of appeal (uploaded by The Verge) is the barebones legal equivalent of "Oh yeah? We'll see about that!" I eagerly await Apple's response of "I know you are, but what am I?"

The California court ruled on the sprawling app store legal battle over on Friday. They ruled that Epic slamming their own payment system into Fortnite iOS was a breach of their contract with Apple, and they'd need to pay 30% of the revenue collected through it (around $3.5 million, or £2.5m). More significantly, the judge came down against Epic's claim that Apple abuse monopoly power, though this might be one possible avenue for appeal.

"The Court does not find that it is impossible; only that Epic Games failed in its burden to demonstrate Apple is an illegal monopolist," judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said in the ruling. So, perhaps they'll come back with a better case for that.

Though obviously Epic were going to appeal anyway, because that's what giant companies do in legal battles with other giant companies.

One part of the ruling which did go Epic's way was the decision that Apple must allow apps to point users to payment methods other than Apple's own in-app system. As The Verge noted, it said Apple are "permanently restrained and enjoined from prohibiting developers from [. . .] including in their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing." What exactly that could look like in reality is unclear, and Epic will likely want any ambiguity cleaned up. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney tweeted yesterday:

So there you have it: mobile Fortnite in future will be played not on tablets but tuxedos.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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