Apple had removed “Fortnite” from its App Store after Epic rolled out its own method of making in-game purchases.
A United States federal judge urged Apple Inc and Fortnite creator Epic Games to take their antitrust dispute before a jury, saying the higher courts would be less likely to overturn the result.
“I know I’m just a stepping stone for all of you,” District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said during a virtual hearing on Monday from Oakland, California.
The hearing is the latest development in the continuing battle between the tech giants over in-app purchases.
Apple had removed Fortnite from its App Store in August after Epic rolled out its own method of making purchases within the popular game. Apple said Epic’s actions violated its App Store rules that require games and other apps to use its in-app payment system, which charges commissions.
Epic sued Apple, alleging the iPhone maker’s 30 percent commission on purchases was anticompetitive. Epic also claims the App Store rules violate antitrust laws and launched a #FreeFortnite social media campaign that parodied Apple’s famous “1984” advertisement.
Judge Gonzalez Rogers’s comments came during a hearing to decide whether to keep in place an emergency order saying Apple could remove Fortnite from the App Store but could not harm Epic’s developer tool business.