(Reuters) – Apple Inc. has been blacklisting "Fortnite" from the iPhone maker's popular App Store for several years until all court proceedings are complete, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said on Wednesday.
Epic Games' opening statement in its appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is due December 12, according to a court case, and Apple's response is due January 20, 2022. The entire appeal process can take years.
Mr. Sweeney took to Twitter on Wednesday, calling Apple's move and saying the company will continue to fight the technology giant.
"This is another extraordinary anti-competitive move by Apple, which demonstrates their power to reshape markets and select winners and losers," Mr. Sweeney said on Twitter.
The two companies have been embroiled in a legal dispute since August last year when the game maker tried to get around Apple's 30% fee for certain in-app purchases on the App Store by launching its own in-app payment system.
The American technology giant faces a number of other legal and regulatory challenges for rules that it forces game makers to follow, including the closely guarded antitrust lawsuit brought by Epic Games.
Apple confirmed the authenticity of the letter that Mr Sweeney shared, but declined to comment further. Apple has not yet said whether it will request that the injunction be suspended pending the appeal process.
"Epic committed an intentional breach of contract and breach of trust by concealing code from Apple and making related misrepresentations and omissions," the iPhone maker told Epic Games, according to the letter shared by Mr Sweeney.
Developers have long criticized Apple's commissions of between 1
Earlier this month, a US federal judge struck some of Apple's App Store rules, forcing the company to allow developers to send their users to other payment systems in a partial profit for Epic Games and other app makers.  Apple shares rose 1.3% to $ 145.26 on Wednesday.