Apple Accuses Epic Games of ‘Marketing’ with Fortnite Lawsuits, Epic Counters the Claim

| Updated
by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Apple Accuses Epic Games of ‘Marketing’ with Fortnite Lawsuits, Epic Counters the Claim
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As Apple and Epic Games continue their lawsuits exchange, the game developer recently countered a “false” claim by Apple. AAPL stock is down.

Recently, Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) said that Epic Games is “marketing” with the Fortnite lawsuits as its popularity has reduced 70%. In contrast, Epic said that the online video game’s active users rather increased by nearly 40%. 

Over past months, there have been several reports on the Apple and Epic Games battle. The dispute started when Epic Games began a new payment method for Fortnite. With the new payment method, players receive discounts if they pay directly to Epic. This way, the game developer bypasses Apple’s 30% share.

Lawsuit Exchange between Apple and Epic Games

In August, Apple announced that Epic Games had been removed from the App Store. According to the American technology company, the removal was caused by Epic’s violation of the App Store guidelines. 

Following Apple’s announcement to delist Epic’s Fortnite from the App Store, the game developer filed for a temporary restraining order to stop Apple’s move. However, Fortnite was finally removed from the App Store and also the Google Play Store.

On the 4th of September, Epic Games filed that Apple restores Fortnite to the App Store. Referring to the filing, Epic said:

“Today, we asked the court to stop Apple’s retaliation against Epic for daring to challenge its unlawful restrictions while our antitrust case proceeds. This is a necessary step to free consumers and developers from Apple’s costly, anti-competitive competitive control.”

In opposition to the filing, Apple said:

“Epic started a fire, and poured gasoline on it, and now asks this Court for emergency assistance in putting it out.”

More on the Lawsuits

On the 8th of September, Apple filed a countersuit against Epic Games, asking for punitive damages. According to the document, Apple said that Epic’s lawsuit is “nothing more than a basic disagreement over money.” Also, Apple added that Epic does not want to pay for the “tremendous value” it derives from the App Store.

Epic Games is filing a lawsuit against Apple over “monopolistic practices.” As it stands, the court hearing for the disputes will hold on the 28th of September.

Furthermore, Apple argued that Epic might have started the lawsuits as part of a “marketing campaign designed to reinvigorate interest in Fortnite.” As stated in the brief, Fortnite is gradually becoming less popular. Apple said interest in Fortnite has decreased by 70% between October 2019 and July 2020. Apple further argued that Epic is using the recent publicity from the lawsuits to regain its popularity.

However, Epic opposed Apple’s argument in a filing on the 18th of September. Also, Epic CEO Tim Sweeny said that Apple only suggested that Fortnite players decreased based on Google search results. He, however, noted that the “number of daily active users actually increased more than 39%.”

Coincidentally, Apple’s shares have been dropping. AAPL fell nearly 17% over the past month and has down 9.14% over the last five days. However, Apple stock has jumped 91.68% in the past year and over 42% in 2020. In addition to Apple’s gains, the company increased by 16.82% in the last three months.

Currently, AAPL is down nearly 2% to $140.71 over its previous close of $106.84.

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