Apple, Epic Games find common ground in ‘Fortnite’ case

Neither want the case to be tried before a jury

Apple and Epic Games have found some common ground in the companies’ ongoing antitrust case over the tech giant’s App Store and the developer’s Fortnite game.

The two companies filed a joint statement on Tuesday (September 30) with District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who is overseeing the case. The statement revealed that the two dueling companies have “met and conferred”, and decided that the ongoing case should be “tried by the Court, and not by a jury”.

The filing came just a day after Rogers suggested during a hearing on Monday (September 29) to both Apple and Epic Games that a trial by jury would be better-suited to evaluate their case, as per Bloomberg. The judge also noted that a jury trial would be less likely to be overturned by higher courts, as opposed to a verdict delivered by her.

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The statement is the latest move from Apple and Epic Games, who have been at loggerheads since mid-August 2020. At the time, Epic Games sued Apple (as well as Google) for removing Fortnite from its App Store after the developer introduced an option for players to buy Fortnite’s in-game currency from Epic’s own store, bypassing Apple.

On September 16, Apple filed a 37-page opposition brief that accused Epic Games of kicking off the legal battle in order to bring attention to its battle royale game, Fortnite. The tech giant stated that this was due to a 70 per cent decrease in interest for Fortnite in July 2020, as compared to October 2019.

On the other hand, Epic Games has continued to update Fortnite, which is now well into its Marvel-themed new season called Nexus War. However, the season is currently unavailable on iOS and Mac devices due to the ongoing legal battle between the companies.

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