Epic Games asks court to prevent what it describes as Apple’s ‘retaliation’

Apple had said it would allow ‘Fortnite’ back into the store if Epic Games removed the direct payment feature. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 05 September 2020

Epic Games asks court to prevent what it describes as Apple’s ‘retaliation’

  • iPhone maker terminated Epic Games’ account on its App Store

Epic Games said late on Friday that it has asked a court to stop what it saw as Apple’s retaliation against the “Fortnite” creator after the iPhone maker terminated Epic Games’ account on its App Store.
Epic Games filed for a preliminary injunction that would put its game back in the App Store and restore its developer account. The filing was made in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
It argued that Epic Games is “likely to suffer irreparable harm” in the absence of a preliminary injunction and that “the balance of harms tips sharply in Epic’s favor.”
The filing described the iPhone maker as a “monopolizt” that maintains its monopolies by “explicitly prohibiting any competitive entry.”
Late last week, Apple terminated Epic Games’ account on its App Store amid a legal battle over the iPhone maker’s in-app payment guidelines and accusations they constitute a monopoly.
Apple said last week its move will not affect Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, a software tool relied on by hundreds of other app makers.
But the move meant iPhone users will not be able to download “Fortnite” or other Epic titles through the Apple App Store.
“This was a clear warning to any other developer that would dare challenge Apple’s monopolies: follow our rules or we will cut you off from a billion iOS consumers — challenge us and we will destroy your business,” Epic Games said in Friday’s filing.
Apple pulled Epic Games after the popular games creator implemented a feature to let iPhone users make in-app purchases directly, rather than using Apple’s in-app purchase system, which charges commissions of 30 percent.
Apple had said it would allow “Fortnite” back into the store if Epic removed the direct payment feature. But Epic refused to do so, saying complying with Apple’s request would be “to collude with Apple to maintain their monopoly over in-app payments on iOS.”


Demand issues ‘to overshadow OPEC+ supply next year’

Updated 29 October 2020

Demand issues ‘to overshadow OPEC+ supply next year’

  • Libya's rising production adding to pressure on oil markets

DUBAI: The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies will have to contend with a “lot of demand issues” before raising supply in January 2021, given throughput cuts by oil refiners, the head of Saudi Aramco’s trading arm said.
OPEC and its allies plan to raise production by 2 million barrels per day (bpd) from January after record output cuts this year as the coronavirus pandemic hammered demand, taking overall reductions to about 5.7 million bpd. 

“We see stress in refining margins and see a lot of refineries either cutting their refining capacity to 50-60% or a lot of refineries closing,” Ibrahim Al-Buainain said an interview with Gulf Intelligence released on Wednesday.

“I don’t think the (refining) business is sustainable at these rates (refining margins).”

However, Chinese oil demand is likely to remain solid through the fourth quarter and into 2021 as its economy grows while the rest of the world is in negative territory, he added.

Among the uncertainties facing the oil market are rising Libyan output on the supply side and a second wave of global COVID-19 infections, especially in Europe, on the demand side, Al-Buainain said.

Complicating efforts by other OPEC members and allies to curb output, Libyan production is expected to rebound to 1 million bpd in the coming weeks.

Oil prices, meanwhile, fell over 4 percent on Wednesday as surging coronavirus infections in the US and Europe are leading to renewed lockdowns, fanning fears that the unsteady economic recovery will deteriorate.

“Crude oil is under pressure from the increase in COVID-19 cases, especially in Europe,” said Robert Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York.

Brent futures fell $1.91, or 4.6 percent, to $39.29 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude fell $2.05, or 5.2 percent, to $37.52.

Earlier in the day Brent traded to its lowest since Oct. 2 and WTI its lowest since Oct. 5.

Futures pared losses somewhat after the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said a bigger-than-expected 4.3 million barrels of crude oil was put into storage last week, but slightly less than industry data late Tuesday which showed a 4.6 million-barrel build.

However, crude production surged to its highest since July at 11.1 million barrels per day in a record weekly build of 1.2 million bpd, the data showed.

Gasoline demand has also been weak overall, down 10 percent from the four-week average a year ago. US consumption is recovering slowly, especially as millions of people restrict leisure travel with cases surging nationwide.