Apple requests punitive damages in court battle with Epic Games

Apple requests punitive damages in court battle with Epic Games


Epic Games v. Apple is just getting started
The gloves just came off in Epic Games v. Apple.
Graphic: Epic Games/Cult of Mac

The Epic Games v. Apple fight got a bit uglier on Tuesday. For the first time, the iPhone-maker asked that Epic Games pay damages for breach of contract. The two companies are arguing over whether Apple has the right to 30% of in-app purchases in the wildly-successful game Fortnite.

Apple’s request came in a court filing in response to Epic Games’ request on Friday that Apple be forced to return Fortnite to the App Store.

Apple’s counterclaim, filed with the District Court in California, lays out its reasons why it shouldn’t have to do so. The argument is, in summary, that it’s Epic Games that’s in breech of contract. The company agreed to share revenue with Apple, then released a version of Fortnite that let players pay Epic Games directly, cutting Apple out.

Included in the filing is a request that the game maker be punished for its efforts to evade revenue sharing with Apple. “This Court should hold Epic to its contractual promises, award Apple compensatory and punitive damages, and enjoin Epic from engaging in further unfair business practices,” said Apple.

A brief history of Epic Games v. Apple

In mid August, Epic Games introduced the version of Fortnite that circumvented Apple’s requirement that the iPhone-maker receive 30% of in-app payments. The result was that Fortnite was booted from the App Store. Epic Games responded immediately with a lawsuit claiming that Apple’s revenue-sharing demand was possible only because it has a monopoly on iPhone application distribution.

The two have been arguing back and forth ever since. Epic Games is taking the stance that it’s fighting the unfair business practices of a monopolist. Apple puts the matter in more prosaic terms. Its court filing Tuesday begins by saying, “Epic’s lawsuit is nothing more than a basic disagreement over money.”


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