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California Federal Judge Throws Out Apple’s Theft Claims Against Epic Games

California Federal Judge Throws Out Apple’s Theft Claims Against Epic Games

A federal judge in California on Tuesday dismissed some of Apple’s counterclaims in the ongoing antitrust battle with Epic Games over Apple’s App Store fees.

Bloomberg reports that on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted ‌Epic Games‌’ motion for judgment, tossing two claims by Apple over lost ‌App Store‌ fees and other monetary damages.

“This is a high-stakes breach of contract case and an antitrust case and that’s all in my view,” Gonzalez told Apple’s lawyers, according to Bloomberg. “You can’t just say it’s independently wrongful. You actually have to have facts,” the judge said, adding that the rest of the breach-of-contract case moves forward.

Apple and Epic have been engaged in an ongoing legal battle since August when Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store. Epic had added a direct payment option to the app which bypassed Apple’s 30% cut of the action on in-app purchases and subscriptions. Epic Games immediately filed a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the Cupertino firm of anti-competitive actions.

Apple responded with a countersuit in September, in an attempt to force the game maker to stop using its own in-game payment system for Fortnite. Apple also accused Epic Games of theft and asked for monetary damages that went beyond simple breach of contract.

In October, Epic filed a motion ahead of Tuesday’s hearing seeking the dismissal of Apple’s counterclaims of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and conversion, along with its punitive damages bid.

Apple told Bloomberg that it disagreed with Judge Gonzales Rogers’ decision, as it said it was clear that Epic had breached its contract.

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