Apple, Epic Games CEOs on List of Witnesses in Fortnite Case

Apple and Epic Games have been in a legal battle since Fortnite tried to avoid a 30 percent App Store fee by launching its in-app payment system.

Apple, Epic Games CEOs on List of Witnesses in Fortnite Case

Epic Games took its fight against Apple to EU antitrust regulators after failing to make headway in US

Highlights
  • Epic Games listed its founder and CEO Tim Sweeney among its own witnesses
  • Epic Games had tried to avoid a 30 percent App Store fee
  • Epic Games said developers speaking out against Apple has become louder

Apple and Epic Games have listed their chief executive officers as potential witnesses in a case between the iPhone maker and the video game developer over the App Store payment system, court documents showed.

Apple and Epic Games, creator of the popular game Fortnite, have been in a legal battle since last year, when Epic Games tried to avoid a 30 percent App Store fee by launching its own in-app payment system. The move prompted Apple to ban Fortnite from its store.

In addition to CEO Tim Cook, Apple also named software chief Craig Federighi and App Store Vice President Matt Fischer on a tentative list of witnesses submitted to the US District Court Northern District of California Oakland Division, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

Epic Games listed its founder and CEO Tim Sweeney, its game store manager Steve Allison, and Thomas Ko, head of online business strategy, among its own witnesses for the trial.

"The chorus of developers speaking out against Apple and their anticompetitive practices has become louder," Epic Games said in a statement.

Apple did not respond to a Reuters request for comment, but told Bloomberg in a statement that it felt "confident the case will prove that Epic purposefully breached its agreement solely to increase its revenues."

Epic Games also recently took its fight against Apple to EU antitrust regulators after failing to make headway in US. CEO Sweeney said Apple's control of its platform has tilted the level playing field.

"The 30 percent they charge as their app tax, they can make it 50 percent or 90 percent or 100 percent. Under their theory of how these markets are structured, they have every right to do that," he said last month.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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