The ink was still wet on the preliminary injunction Epic filed to “stop Apple from retaliating,” when Apple responded by filing its own claims.
This Tuesday, the company filed counterclaims with the District Court for the Northern District of California saying that the Fortnite maker breached its contract with Apple. Apple is now seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
″Epic’s lawsuit is nothing more than a basic disagreement over money,” the filing reads. “Although Epic portrays itself as a modern corporate Robin Hood, in reality it is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that simply wants to pay nothing for the tremendous value it derives from the App Store.”
The filing goes even further to describe Epic’s actions as “theft” and “sneak assault”:
″Unbeknownst to Apple, Epic had been busy enlisting a legion of lawyers, publicists, and technicians to orchestrate a sneak assault on the App Store. Shortly after 2:00 a.m. on August 13, 2020, the morning on which Epic would activate its hidden commission-theft functionality, Mr. Sweeney again emailed Apple executives, declaring that ‘Epic will no longer adhere to Apple’s payment processing restrictions.’”
Elsewhere in the filing, the hotfix Epic triggered to enable an alternative payment system is called “a Trojan horse” whose launch was “cold-blooded” and “brazen.”
According to Apple, Epic has earned over $600 million via the App Store while taking advantage of Apple’s support and services “more than any other app developer for the past two years.” Apple wants restitution of all money Fortnite collected through its own payment system and a permanent ban on any external payment functionality in all apps by Epic Games.