Apple Slays in Fortnite Developer Case

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) stock pushed higher on Monday after a federal judge ruled in favor of the iPhone giant. Essentially, the judge ruled that Apple may continue to ban of the popular video game Fortnite from its App Store.

Epic Games, the parent company of Fortnite, has been locked in an antitrust suit against Apple over the rules of its App Store. Now it seems that it may be game over for the video game firm, at least on the Apple platform.

In terms of the specifics, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the Northern District of California noted in her ruling that Epic Games had violated its contract with Apple, hence the ban could stand.

However, in the same ruling, the judge also said that Apple could not ban one of Epic Game’s developer tools, Unreal Engine. The judge made this distinction because developers and gamers both rely on this software, and there could be significant damage done to these groups.

After the ruling, an Epic Games spokeswoman said that the firm “is grateful that Apple will continue to be barred from retaliating against Unreal Engine and our game development customers.” Going forward Epic Games will continue developing for Apple’s platforms and “pursue all avenues to end Apple’s anti-competitive behavior.”

At the center of this debate, Apple requires that developers use its payment systems and pay a 30% cut of any money made through their apps. Epic obviously wants to change these requirements and fees, as well as operate its own app store within Apple’s.

The reason Epic Games lost this ruling was that it directed Fortnite users to its own payment service. As a result, Apple pulled the game from its App Store, and here we are.

This isn’t the first time that Apple has been under the spotlight for anticompetitive behavior. CEO Tim Cook was brought before Congress earlier this year to discuss some of these antitrust issues. Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet also were subject to this congressional inquiry.

Although Apple has been subject to scrutiny many times, it seems that the iPhone giant always manages to survive. This time appears to be no different.

Apple stock traded up over 4% at $122.44 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $53.15 to $137.98. The consensus price target is $119.38.

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