Court: Apple Can Block Fortnite But Not the Unreal Engine

TechCrunch has the latest on the ongoing legal battle between Epic Games and Apple (thanks Verno). As part of their dispute over royalties Apple yoinked Fortnite from their App Store and threatened to revoke Epic's ability to support the Unreal Engine. Word is the court has decided Apple is entitled to not sell Fortnite. But they've issued a temporary restraining order against dropping Epic's ability to support the Unreal Engine because of the havoc this would wreak. Here's more on the ruling:
U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said Apple can’t retaliate against Epic Games by blocking the gaming firm’s developer accounts or restrict developers on Apple platforms from accessing the widely-used Unreal Engine tools.

“The record shows potential significant damage to both the Unreal Engine platform itself, and to the gaming industry generally, including on both third-party developers and gamers,” she said, adding that even as Epic Games violated App Store’s guidelines, it did not breach any contracts related to Unreal Engine and developer tools.

“Apple has chosen to act severely, and by doing so, has impacted non-parties, and a third-party developer ecosystem,” said Rogers.

But the ruling was not a complete win for Epic Games, which had also requested the sleeper hit title Fortnite to be restored on the iOS App Store. Rogers said the game will remain off the App Store unless Epic Games attempted to bring it back in accordance with App Store guidelines.
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Re: Apple Can Block Fortnite But Not the Unreal Engine
Aug 26, 2020, 09:29
Verno
 
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Re: Apple Can Block Fortnite But Not the Unreal Engine Aug 26, 2020, 09:29
Aug 26, 2020, 09:29
 Verno
 
jacobvandy wrote on Aug 26, 2020, 00:56:
anti-trust laws aren't there to punish whoever so happens to be in any kind of dominant market position. They are for preventing the abuse of power that position wields and preventing the gaining of that position through illegal means.

Has Apple been charging that same rate this whole time, while their market share started from 0% in 2007, rose as high as 70% or so before COMPETITION brought it tumbling down by half of that in 2010, then came back up and held pretty stable at 50-60% throughout the past decade? (Talking about the US, only, here; Android has dominated everywhere else since 2012 and today there's a 75/25 split over iOS in the global market.) I don't know the answer, but if yes, then how is taking 30% considered an abuse of the dominant market position they hold today? You don't get to suddenly decide it's "egregious" now if the market found it acceptable to begin with, to the point where they grew to dominate said market over the span of more than a decade of charging that rate.

If they came upon that market position legitimately, it doesn't matter how obscene their profit margins are, or whether they are fit to be categorized a monopoly... It's not illegal. An anti-trust case would be about proving they have done something illegal to stay there. Like threatening would-be competitors with secret ninja death squads or some shit. Or explicitly price-fixing with Google.

Indeed, well put. The cellphone industry has amazing offerings at every price level for hardware, services and apps despite the presence of only 2 major players in many (not all) regions. Users and developers brought us here, not anti-competitive actions by Google and Apple. At one point we had 5-6 different platforms and the increased competition was not helpful, it fractured application development and users largely rejected the other platforms. They are not stopping anyone from entering the cellphone industry with a competitive offering, it is an open market place. The presence of dominant players in an industry does not inherently mean there is an unhealthy marketplace.

All Google and Apple have done is create robust and desirable platforms and continually reinvest in them. The idea that its just some servers is silly. It's an entire platform. The App Store doesn't matter if Apple doesn't continually make new hardware that people want, new accessories, invest in R&D, develop iOS, follow other industry trends and so on. The same goes for Google and its partners. That's a lot more than a few hundred mil and some servers. No one seems to be able answer "What is a fair split?" despite feeling strongly that 30% is somehow too much. If it's truly harmful to consumers then why isn't there any evidence of that harm? When I think of anti-competitive acts that need immediate attention, my thoughts go to carriers rather than Apple/Google.
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