Epic CEO says Apple bars "Fortnite" until all court appeals end

FILE PHOTO: Smartphone with Epic Games logo is seen in front of Apple logo in this illustration

(Reuters) -Epic Games Chief Executive Officer Tim Sweeney said on Wednesday that Apple Inc informed the “Fortnite” owner that the video game will be blacklisted from the iPhone maker's ecosystem until all the court appeals are done.

Epic Games' opening brief in its appeal to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is due Dec. 12, according to a court filing and Apple's reply is due by Jan. 20, 2022. The full appeal process could take years.

“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,” Tim Sweeney said in a tweet. (https://bit.ly/3CGIw2x)

Apple confirmed the authenticity of the letter that Sweeney shared, but declined to comment further.

The U.S. tech giant is facing a raft of legal and regulatory challenges to rules it forces game makers to follow, including the closely watched antitrust lawsuit brought by Epic Games.

Earlier this month, a U.S. federal judge struck down some of Apple's App Store rules, forcing the company to allow developers to send their users to other payment systems in a partial win for Epic Games and other app makers.

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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