Feature: Apple Requests Monetary Damages in Fortnite Lawsuit

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Here’s what you need to know about the impact of Covid-19 to navigate the markets today.

Apple is seeking monetary damages from Fortnite creator Epic Games for allegedly breaching its contract with Apple by allowing users to make in-app purchases without giving Apple its typical 30% cut. Apple initially pulled the game from its app store on Aug. 13, then suspended Epic’s developer account on Aug. 28 after Epic sued Apple. “Epic’s lawsuit is nothing more than a basic disagreement over money,” Apple said in its filing Tuesday. “Although Epic portrays itself as a modern corporate Robin Hood, in reality it is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that simply wants to pay nothing for the tremendous value it derives from the App Store.” Epic has not yet responded to the filing or Barron’s request for comment. On Sept. 4, Epic filed for a preliminary injunction for its developer account to be restored.

The Sturgis motorcycle rally was responsible for just under 267,000 Covid-19 cases across the U.S., according to a new study. The public health cost of holding the rally is estimated by the researchers at $12.2 billion. The rally, which is held annually in the South Dakota town of Sturgis, attracted about 500,000 people from early to mid-August when it went ahead as planned despite guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention against mass gatherings. Analyzing cell phone data and county-level Covid-19 reports, a paper published by the German Institute of Labor Economics by professors at the University of Colorado, Denver, San Diego State University and the University of San Diego-California and other institutions tracked the change in Covid-19 infections in Sturgis’s home county of Meade, as wells as in the counties that people who attended the rally returned to. There was a marked increase in cases both in Sturgis and the counties that riders returned to after the rally, the researchers found. Counties with “the highest inflows of rally attendees experienced a 7.0 to 12.5 percent increase in Covid-19 cases relative to counties that did not contribute inflows,” they write. In total, the paper found that 266,796 cases of Covid-19 are linked to the Sturgis rally, or about 19% of the total number of cases in the U.S. between Aug. 2 and Sept. 2. At least one death from Covid-19 has been linked to rally, and South Dakota went ahead with plans to hold its annual state fair, which ended Monday.

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President Donald Trump said Monday that he supports an investigation into Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s political fundraising practices. Employees at DeJoy’s former company have reportedly said that they felt pressured by him to donate to Republican campaigns and were later reimbursed by him for those donations. The allegations were first reported by the Washington Post. Asked at a press conference Monday if he supported an investigation into them, President Trump responded, “Sure, sure. Let the investigations go,” and said that if the investigation showed that DeJoy committed a crime, he would support his dismissal. The Washington Post reported Saturday that five employees of DeJoy’s former business said that he or his aides pushed them to donate to campaigns and some of them said DeJoy then paid them bonuses that effectively reimbursed them for the donations. Federal law bans reimbursing employee donations in order to evade individual contribution limits, which is referred to as a straw-donor scheme. A spokesman for DeJoy said he was never told by any employees that they felt pressured to give to political campaigns.

The U.S. will push to “decouple” economically from China, President Trump said Monday. Using the North Portico of the White House for a press conference is rare and the president continued to push past norms against openly campaigning from the White House by accusing his rival former Vice President Joe Biden of being a “stupid person” whose “economic treachery” had allowed China’s economic rise. The president proposed imposing tariffs on goods imported by American companies that cut workers in the U.S. and moved manufacturing abroad.

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France’s Health Minister Oliver Veran said Tuesday that the country’s level of Covid-19 infections is “worrying” but that a second-wave of cases is avoidable. “The reproduction rate of the virus stands at 1.2 which is less than the 3.2-3.4 level seen during the spring,” Veran said in a radio interview, meaning that currently, each sick person infects on average 1.2 other people. “So the virus is spreading at lesser speed but it is circulating, which is worrying.” The U.K. and Spain are also experiencing an increase in cases, although hospitalization and deaths remain far lower than at the height of the initial surge in infections in early spring and remain far below the U.S. caseload.

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Write to Ben Walsh at ben.walsh@barrons.com

Content courtesy of MarketWatch published on , original article here.

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