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Epic Games asks court to stop Apple's 'retaliation' against Fortnite suit

Image displaying a shady-looking Apple that says "Free Fortnite" with a rainbow llama outline. It is from Epic Games' "Free Fortnite" ad campaign against Apple.
Image from Epic Games' "Free Fortnite" ad campaign against Apple. (Image credit: Epic Games)

In a court motion filed Friday, September 4, Epic Games requested an injunction restoring Fortnite to the iOS App Store. Epic calls the filing an action to "stop Apple’s retaliation against Epic for daring to challenge its unlawful restrictions while our antitrust case proceeds." It's the latest legal maneuver in what will surely be a long, drawn-out confrontation between two powerful tech giants—what one might call a Goliath vs. Much Larger Goliath situation. 

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This motion for a preliminary injunction follows the partial granting of a previous request for a temporary restraining order against Apple requesting, to the layman, much the same thing. That motion was partially successful in that it kept Apple from terminating Epic's access to development tools used to maintain the Unreal Engine on iOS. This new motion—in very simplified terms—makes the case that as Epic Games' anti-monopoly case against Apple is very strong and likely to succeed, the court should grant Epic's request now instead of later.

"Apple is a monopolist. It controls all app distribution on iOS. It controls all in-app payment processing for digital content on iOS," says Epic's motion, "It unlawfully maintains these two monopolies by explicitly prohibiting any competitive entry in either market. It is highly likely to lose this case." 

The motion goes on to request that the court stop Apple from "retaliating against Epic for daring to challenge Apple’s misconduct."

Epic cites Apple's previous conduct—threatening Epic Games' Unreal Engine developer accounts—as evidence that Apple's other actions are retaliation against Epic. Here's the relevant argument from the motion's preliminary statements: "In short, accused of antitrust violations for misusing its power to create and maintain two monopolies, Apple used that same power to try to coerce Epic to abide by its unlawful restrictions."

Epic Games' lawsuit against Apple is over "monopolistic practices" by the multi-trillion dollar tech giant, which controls all access to the iOS ecosystem and devices. This motion will come before the court on September 28. 

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.