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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Apple and Epic Games burned the midnight oil Wednesday, as the two companies prepared to lay out their case ahead of a May trial in front of a federal judge in Oakland.

Catch up quick: Last year, Epic added its own in-app payment system into Fortnite, despite prohibitions by both Google and Apple on such moves.

  • Both stores pulled Fortnite from their app stores and Epic immediately sued both companies. Apple has also countersued Epic.
  • A court denied Epic's request for a temporary restraining order to keep Fortnite in the App Store, but also temporarily stopped Apple from removing Epic's access to developer tools.

What's new: While the full filings weren't available last night, there's not much mystery as to what each side is arguing.

  • Apple contends that its 30% commission is in line with other digital marketplaces and that companies that don't want to use its in-app payment system can sell digital currencies over the web.
  • Epic is expected to argue that the relevant market is that for in-app purchases on the iPhone and that Apple is using the fact that the App Store is the only way to get apps to force developers to use its payment system for in-app purchases.

What's next: The trial is set to begin May 3 in Oakland, California, with Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers deciding the case. Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to testify, as are Epic CEO Tim Sweeney and a number of other top Apple executives.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Apr 7, 2021 - Technology

Apple's stricter rules on digital tracking to take effect soon

Photo: Eva Hambach/AFP via Getty Images

Beginning with iOS 14.5, due out in the next couple of weeks, iPhone apps will have to ask users for permission to track their digital activity.

Why it matters: Only if a user gives permission will apps have access to the unique advertising identifier assigned to each device. Apple will also take action against apps that try to fingerprint individual devices via other methods.

Super typhoon Surigae explodes to Cat. 5 intensity

Super Typhoon Surigae seen on satellite imagery Saturday morning east of the Philippines. (CIRA/RAMMB)

Super Typhoon Surigae surged in intensity from a Category 1 storm on Friday to a beastly Category 5 monster on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds estimated at 190 mph with higher gusts.

Why it matters: This storm — known as Typhoon Bising in the Philippines — is just the latest of many tropical cyclones to undergo a process known as rapid intensification, a feat that studies show is becoming more common due to climate change. It weakened slightly, to the equivalent of a strong Category 4 storm, on Sunday.

4 hours ago - World

Biden adviser warns "there will be consequences" for Russia if Navalny dies

The Biden administration warned the Russian government "that there will be consequences" if jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday.

The big picture: Sullivan also defended President Biden for not mentioning Navalny in a Thursday speech about Russia or in a Tuesday call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying the White House aims to deal with the issue "privately and through diplomatic channels."