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Apple claims Epic asked for a ‘special deal’ for Fortnite payments

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Apple has responded to Epic Games’ antitrust lawsuit over its iOS App Store policies. The filing asks a court not to temporarily reverse an App Store ban while the suit is ongoing. And it accuses Epic of disingenuously creating an “emergency” by accepting direct payments through Fortnite in violation of Apple’s rules.

In a declaration to the court, Apple executive Phil Schiller wrote that Epic CEO Tim Sweeney asked for a “special deal with only Epic” that would “fundamentally change the way in which Epic offers apps on Apple’s iOS platform.” When Apple declined, Epic changed its policies to cut Apple out of in-app purchases. Now, the company argues that Epic’s ban is its own responsibility.

“In the wake of its own voluntary actions, Epic now seeks emergency relief. But the ’emergency’ is entirely of Epic’s own making,” Apple’s response reads. “Developers who work to deceive Apple, as Epic has done here, are terminated.”

Elsewhere in the filing, Apple laid out a defense of its in-app purchase rules. “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,” it reads.

Epic sued Apple last week in a rapidly escalating fight over mobile app store policies. Apple banned Fortnite after Epic introduced direct payments that bypassed Apple’s in-app purchase system and its 30 percent commission. Epic retaliated with a lawsuit claiming that Apple violates antitrust law by controlling iOS platform access through the App Store and requiring developers to use its payment options.

Apple’s response also contains a trove of emails between Sweeney, Schiller, and other Apple executives. On June 30, Sweeney requested that Apple allow Epic to launch its own app store on iOS, and include an alternative payment system in Fortnite and other Epic games.

“Apple’s contracts and standards documents contain restrictive provisions that prohibit Epic from offering a competing app store and competing payment processing options to consumer,” Sweeney wrote. “Apple would need to provide a side letter or alter its contracts and standards documents to remove such restrictions.”

Apple refused. “The App Store is not simply a marketplace — it is part of a larger bundle of tools, technologies and services that Apple makes available to developers,” wrote Apple associate general counsel Douglas Vetter in mid-July. “We cannot be confident that Epic or any developer would uphold the same rigorous standards of privacy, security, and content as Apple. Indeed, since Apple treats all developers according to the same terms, Epic is essentially asking Apple to outsource the safety and security of Apple’s users to hundreds of thousands of iOS developers.”

Epic went through with its plans anyway, notifying Apple of its change in an email sent at 2AM on August 13th — just before a sudden update added the new payment options. “We choose to follow this path in the firm belief that history and law are on our side,” wrote Sweeney. “We hope that Apple will reflect on its platform restrictions and begin to make historic changes that bring to the world’s billion iOS consumers the rights and freedoms enjoyed on the world’s leading open computing platforms.”

He also hinted at a legal attack if Apple retaliated — which the phone maker promptly did, banning Epic from its store.

Apple has previously said its locked-down system creates “a safe and trusted place” for users. It repeated similar arguments in this filing. “If every developer is free to breach its contracts with Apple and allowed to circumvent the App review process,” Schiller’s statement reads, “then Apple’s App Store cannot deliver the many benefits to consumers and developers that it currently does…. And if developers can circumvent [in-app purchases] and avoid paying Apple the commissions it is contractually due, Apple will be unable to continue its on-going investment in it.”

“Epic’s actions are putting the entire App Store model at risk,” Schiller concludes.

Meanwhile, Epic has framed its fight around freedom and consumer choice, parodying Apple’s famous “1984” ad to paint the phone maker as a repressive dictatorship. It’s also taken aim at Google after being kicked off Android’s Play Store. While Android users can still install Fortnite, Epic filed a suit claiming Google erects “contractual and technological barriers” that disadvantage non-Play Store apps.

Alongside the Fortnite lawsuit, Apple is facing antitrust scrutiny in Congress. CEO Tim Cook testified at a House Judiciary Committee hearing last month, and questions focused largely on Apple’s App Store policies. The Supreme Court also denied Apple’s request to dismiss a different lawsuit last year, affirming that developers could sue over antitrust concerns.

Apple argues that its App Store practices — including the in-app purchase system — are no different than those of console platforms like Sony’s PlayStation or Microsoft’s Xbox. “Apple needs a way of ensuring that it actually gets paid. [In-app purchasing] is the fundamental mechanism by which Apple, like many other transaction platforms, implements its business model and recoups its substantial investment in the platform,” reads the filing.

Apple has defended its iOS practices for many years, including during the recent hearings. But Epic is mounting one of the most visible challenges yet. For now, Apple is focusing on convincing a court to let its ban stand while the rest of the case progresses — by arguing that Epic’s Fortnite update was part of a deliberate, avoidable plan to antagonize it.

Source : TheVergeRead More

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
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When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

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Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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