Last week it was revealed that Apple is threatening to terminate Fortnite developer Epic Games' developer accounts by August 28 following Epic's decision to offer in-app purchases in Fortnite without using Apple's IAP system. Epic then asked a court to block Apple from terminating its developer account, and now Apple has filed a formal response.
Apple is urging a federal district court to deny Epic's request for an injunction. As noted by Axios, Apple says that this "emergency" that Epic is concerned about is Epic's own fault and that these injunctions "exist to remedy irreparable harm, not easily reparable self-inflicted wounds."
The filing from Apple also reveals that Epic was trying to get a special deal from Apple before it inserted its own payment system into the iOS version of Fortnite. Apple says that on June 30, Epic emailed the iPhone maker to ask about allowing the Epic Games Store app to install games on iOS devices directly, skipping Appe's in-app payment system in the process.
Apple says that when it said "No" to Epic's proposition, Epic then "resorted to sudden, unilateral action that blatantly breached its contracts with Apple, and simultaneously filed this lawsuit, which seeks to justify its deliberate breaches after the fact."
In its filing, Apple also compares Epic and its decision to implement its own payment system to a shoplifter. "If developers can avoid the digital checkout, it is the same as if a customer leaves an Apple retail store without paying for shoplifted product: Apple does not get paid," Apple said.
Finally, Apple argues that Epic does not have an antitrust case because it can't monopolize the smartphone app market since Google has a large app marketplace of its own. Apple also says that its App Store policies are similar to those of Google, Amazon, and Microsoft as well as game consoles like Xbox and PlayStation.
This whole battle kicked off last week when Epic quietly inserted its own payment system into the iOS and Android versions of Fortnite. With it, players could buy V-Bucks to spend in Fortnite and get a 20% discount using a new "Epic direct payment" method rather than Apple and Google's payment systems which would give them a 30% cut.
Both Apple and Google responded by pulling Fortnite from their respective app markets that same day, and Epic followed by suing them both. Now Apple is threatening to terminate Epic's Apple Developer Account, which would prevent Epic from distributing iOS apps and from updating the Unreal game engine, which is used by many other iOS game makers.