Apple lied, breaks its promise to allow Fortnite back on iOS under its rules

Tweets from Tim Sweeney pasted below. Original tweets can be found here:

Apple lied. Apple spent a year telling the world, the court, and the press they’d "welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else". Epic agreed, and now Apple has reneged in another abuse of its monopoly power over a billion users.

Just last week, Epic agreed with Apple that we would play by the same rules as everyone else.

Phil Schiller Letter
Late last night, Apple informed Epic that Fortnite will be blacklisted from the Apple ecosystem until the exhaustion of all court appeals, which could be as long as a 5-year process.

GIbson Dunn Letter
This is another extraordinary anticompetitive move by Apple, demonstrating their power to reshape markets and choose winners and losers.

It’s also a loss for fair competition and consumer choice. The loss of Fortnite as an iOS metaverse competitor alongside Roblox and PUBG Mobile has significant implications for the evolution of the new medium of our era.

Why did Apple break its promise to allow Fortnite back under its rules? Apple cites three reasons: 1) they won, 2) Epic "statements since the court’s decision", and 3) the way we launched direct payments in 2020.

Apple always claimed they expected to win, and Apple has known about Epic’s payment system since 2020. The only change since September 10, when Apple last offered to welcome Fortnite back, is that Epic appealed the decision and made "statements".

What "statements" are we talking about here? All Apple cites is a quote they fabricated, claiming I said Epic "[w]ouldn’t trade [an alternative payment system] away to get Fortnite back on iOS." What did I actually say?

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If Apple is now blacklisting companies for making statements, where does that policy lead them? To ban Spotify? Match? The New York Times?

Fortnite should not be blacklisted for challenging an agreement containing terms the court found to be unlawful which Apple forces on all developers as terms of access to iOS. We’ll fight on. The need for regulatory and legislative action is clearer than ever before.

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