Apple and Epic Games have been embroiled in a legal battle over Fortnite and the App Store in recent weeks, and today Apple has thrown another punch.
Apple today filed a countersuit against Epic for what it calls a "flagrant breach of contract". Apple is referring to the "Epic direct payment" option that Epic included in Fortnite last month as a way to get around Apple's 30% cut of App Store sales, calling it a "Trojan horse" and alleging that Epic described it as a hotfix to bypass Apple's app review process.
"Epic fired the first shot in this dispute, and its willful, brazen, and unlawful conduct cannot be left unchecked," Apple says in its lawsuit.
Apple goes on to fire back at all of the complaints that Epic has made about Apple and the App Store in this saga so far. For example, Epic described Apple's decision to terminate its Apple Developer Account as "retaliatory," but Apple says that this was simply an "exercise of a contractual right in response to an open and admitted breach".
Apple also argues that it is "not a monopolist of any relevant market," saying that competition is "fierce" both inside of the App Store and outside of it. Apple points to the Fortnite players' ability to play the game and spend money on V-Bucks on multiple platforms, including mobile, PC, and game consoles.
"Neither Mr. Sweeney's self-righteous (and self-interested) demands nor the scale of Epic's business can justify Epic's deliberate contractual breaches, its tortious conduct, or its unfair business practices," Apple says in its filing. "This court should hold Epic to its contractual promises, award Apple compensatory and punitive damages, and enjoin Epic from engaging in further unfair business practices."
A preliminary injunction hearing in this case is scheduled for September 28.