Epic Games on Monday failed to convince a US judge to make Apple put its hit title Fortnite back in the tech giant's App Store, while their legal battle heads for a possible trial next year.
US District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers had previously rejected a similar request by Epic, and appeared to remain unmoved at Monday's hearing.
The judge said she didn't expect a trial over the dispute to start until July of next year, at the earliest, given her calendar.
She advised Apple and Epic to request a jury to hear the case and is to issue a written explaining Monday's ruling.
Apple does not allow users of its popular devices to download apps from anywhere but its App Store, and developers have to use Apple's payment system which takes its cut.
The legal battle comes as Apple puts priority on selling digital content and subscription services to the one billion-plus people around the world using devices powered by its iOS mobile operating software.
The case comes amid rising criticism of the fees and terms imposed by the app stores, and legal challenges by both Epic and Spotify to Apple's commission for online subscriptions.
But Epic did not back down from its fight against Apple, accusing the tech giant of being "a monopolist."
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