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Judge Rules Apple Can’t Ban Epic Games From App Store – Yet

A federal judge granted an injunction last week to stop Apple from completely terminating Epic’s app developer account – but ruled the tech giant was not compelled to bring Fortnite back to its platform.

The temporary restraining order Epic filed in August to prevent Apple from terminating its developer accounts and cutting the company and its software tool Unreal Engine off from iOS and Mac is now permanent.

Currently, hundreds of games in the Apple app store depend on Unreal Engine.

However, it does mean the gaming app Fortnite will remain inaccessible to Apple users for the time being.

This could mean a mass exodus of Fortnite gamers from Apple onto the Android platform.

“Epic Games and Apple are at liberty to litigate this action for the future of the digital frontier, but their dispute should not create havoc to bystanders. Thus, the public interest weighs overwhelmingly in favour of Unreal Engine and the Epic Affiliates,” Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers said in the ruling.

US video game giant Epic originally sued Apple on August 13, alleging the company’s rules about in-app purchases and the tariff developers are forced to pay are ‘anticompetitive’.

As it stands, app developers can only use Apple’s in-house payment processing service which sees the iPhone maker receive a 30 per cent cut of all in-app purchases.

Epic attempted to circumvent this rule in its popular game Fortnite by coding it so users could buy directly from them instead of Apple at a discount.

Apple quickly banned Fortnite from the App Store and Epic launched a suit in retaliation.

The next hearing is scheduled for September 29, 2020.

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