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Photo Illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Epic Games says it "intends" to re-release its popular "Fortnite" battle royale game on iPhones and iPads in South Korea, citing the country's new law involving in-app purchases.

Why it matters: Epic's plan, announced tonight via a Tweet, would allow it to achieve one of its key goals in its ongoing fight with Apple, at least in one country.

  • "Epic has asked Apple to restore our Fortnite developer account," the company stated in a Tweet to the official "Fortnite" account.
  • "Epic intends to re-release Fortnite on iOS in Korea offering both Epic payment and Apple payment side-by-side in compliance with the new Korean law."

Between the lines: Epic's move has been likely since last week, when South Korea passed a law that bars app store owners from prohibiting third-party payment systems.

  • In August 2020, Epic defied Apple's developer policies by allowing "Fortnite" players to purchase in-game items directly from Epic.
  • In-app purchases were supposed to only go through Apple's store, which results in Apple taking a 30% cut.
  • Apple booted "Fortnite" from iOS at the time, and Epic filed suit, leading to a spring 2021 trial, for which a verdict is still pending.

Be smart: Epic still needs Apple to put the app back in the store, a fact that underscores the very control that Epic and others are complaining about.

Update: Apple appears unlikely to do what Epic wants, at least not until it is forced to do so by a court.

  • "As we’ve said all along, we would welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else," Apple said in a statement. "Epic has admitted to breach of contract and as of now, there’s no legitimate basis for the reinstatement of their developer account.”

Go deeper

Sep 17, 2021 - World

Apple, Google delete Navalny app as Russians go to polls

Alexei Navalny's Smart Voting app is seen on a phone in Moscow. Photo: Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP

Apple and Google have deleted jailed Kremlin opposition leader Alexei Navalny's tactical voting app from their app stores, per Reuters.

Why it matters: The tech companies removed the opposition-led Smart Voting app on the same day Russians head to the polls to elect a new parliament amid the largest crackdown of Kremlin critics in years.

DOJ sues American Airlines, JetBlue to block "unprecedented" alliance

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Justice Department on Tuesday sued American Airlines and JetBlue to block an "unprecedented series of agreements" that will consolidate the two airlines' operations in Boston and New York City.

Why it matters: The civil antitrust complaint alleges that the planned Northeast Alliance (NEA) "will cause hundreds of millions of dollars in harm to air passengers across the country through higher fares and reduced choice," the DOJ said in a release.

FBI: Body identified as Gabby Petito, death ruled a homicide

A memorial dedicated to Gabby Petito near City Hall in North Port, Fla. Photo: Octavio Jones/Getty Images

A body found in Teton County, Wyoming, on Sunday was confirmed to be the remains of missing 22-year-old blogger Gabby Petito, the FBI announced Tuesday.

Driving the news: The death was ruled a homicide by the Teton County coroner's office, the FBI said. The cause of death has not been determined.