Game On: Judge issues permanent injunction against Apple in Epic case

‘Deathloop’ out for PS5 this week
“Game On” is The Fly’s weekly recap of the stories powering up or beating down video game stocks.

NEW RELEASES: This week’s major new release is Besthesda’s “Deathloop,” a first-person action-adventure title out for PC and PlayStation 5 (SONY) on September 14. While Bethesda is owned by Microsoft (MSFT), the game is launching as a timed console exclusive for PS5 due to a prior agreement.

EPIC/APPLE: The legal battle between Apple (AAPL) and “Fortnite” maker Epic Games over in-app purchases reached its latest milestone late last week after the judge overseeing the case issued a decision on the matter. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that while the court did not conclude Apple is a monopolist under federal or state antitrust laws, the tech giant is “engaging in anticompetitive conduct.” As a result, the judge issued a permanent injunction against Apple, ordering that the company be “permanently restrained and enjoined from prohibiting developers from including in their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing and communicating with customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app.” On the other counts, however, Rogers ordered Epic Games to pay damages to Apple “in an amount equal to 30% of the $12,167,719 in revenue Epic Games collected from users in the Fortnite app on iOS through Epic Direct Payment between August and October 2020, plus 30% of any such revenue Epic Games collected from November 1, 2020 through the date of judgment, and interest according to law.”

In response to the decision, Apple general counsel Kate Adams said that the ruling was a “huge win for Apple” and that the company is “extremely pleased” with the “resounding victory.” Meanwhile, Epic CEO and founder Tim Sweeney said on Twitter that the ruling was not a “win for developers or consumers.” Reuters later reported over the weekend that Epic intends to appeal the ruling.
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