Apple Holds 'Crazy, Misguided View' About Owning All Commerce Related To iPhone, Says Epic Founder

Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney castigated Apple Inc AAPL over antitrust concerns in the ongoing dispute over the removal of the former's "Fortnite" game from the App Store.

What Happened: “Apple’s position is that they seem to truly believe they 'own' all commerce involving phones they make, characterizing direct payment as theft, smuggling, and even shoplifting,” Sweeney said in a tweet on Sunday. “It’s a crazy, misguided view.”

Sweeney's comments came in the aftermath of Epic’s latest legal response to the Cupertino-based tech giant as reported by The Verge.

As per a filing Apple filed in a court in the Northern District of California, the Tim Cook-led company is claiming damages on grounds that Epic violated its iOS App Store contract.

The tech giant said in its complaint that the North Carolina-based game-maker was the beneficiary of unjust enrichment and also claimed the latter interfered in a tortious manner between Apple and its customers.

Epic said in its own legal response that its actions were “a far cry from the tortious—even purportedly criminal—conduct that Apple’s Opposition depicts.”

The game maker said Apple is making an “extraordinary assertion” by claiming that its collection of payments from the players of its own game is “taking of something that belongs to Apple.”

Why It Matters: Earlier in the month, a judge refused to issue a permanent injunction that would have allowed Fortnite to be reinstated on Apple’s App Store, The Verge reported separately. 

In August, Epic had secured interim relief that prevented the Cupertino-based company from terminating developer accounts, including the latter’s “Unreal Engine” platform, according to Bloomberg. 

The legal troubles between the tech giant and Epic stem from a dispute regarding a 30% cut Apple takes on in-app payments, which the game-maker deems unjust.

Price Action: Apple shares closed nearly 0.6% lower at $115.04 on Friday.

Posted In: AntitrustApp StoreEpic GamesFortniteiPhoneTim SweeneyNewsLegalEventsTechMedia

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