Apple and Epic Games do not want to have a lawsuit in their ongoing legal dispute over the Fortnite and Apple App Store rules, according to a statement filed in a Northern California court hearing the case today.
The two companies said they met and agreed that both Epic’s and Apple’s counterclaims should be heard in court on a date to be determined.
Epic and Apple have met and agreed, and the parties agree that Epic’s claims and Apple’s counterclaims should be heard by the Court and not by jurors. Therefore, with Epic’s consent, Apple withdrew its lawsuit in accordance with Federal Code of Civil Procedure 38 (d). The parties respectfully request that the case (including all claims and counterclaims) continue the proceedings according to a timetable set by the Court.
In a counterclaim against Epic Games, Apple initially sought a lawsuit from jurors, but given that the trial judge told the two companies that he did not want to hear two separate cases, Apple withdrew the request.
A preliminary hearing between Epic Games and Apple took place earlier this week, and during that hearing, the judge suggested that a hearing might be appropriate to provide a final decision that is better able to stand up. against appeal, but Apple and Epic Games refused.
During the preliminary hearing, the judge was adamant about Epic Games, criticizing the company for the way it initiated the case. In August, Epic Games added a direct payment option to the popular iOS game Fortnite, in violation of Apple’s App Store rules, as the payment option bypassed in-app purchases.
Apple then withdrew the app from the App Store and Epic Games filed a pre-arranged lawsuit against Apple, leading to a lawsuit that could take years. Fortnite is not currently available on Apple devices and the Epic developer account has been terminated.
During Monday’s hearing, the judge said Epic was “not straightforward” and had made a “calculated decision” to oppose Apple’s “App Store” rules. “There are people in the public who consider you heroes for what you did, but that’s not fair,” she said.
As Apple and Epic refuse to sit, the case may be heard sometime in July 2021, with a date to be set by the court.