The future of the Apple App Store is at stake. It all began in August 2020 when Epic Games laid a trap on Apple.
Fortnite maker Epic Games, Inc. is suing Apple, and the court proceedings start this week in California. Epic Games says Apple’s App Store is a monopoly. Apple on the other hand says Epic Games broke its developer contract. As a result of the legal spat, Fortnite was kicked off Apple’s iPhone and iPad last year.
After months of hype and war. Epic Games is finally getting its day in court with Apple. The trial will begin on Monday, Apple Boss Tim Cook will be providing evidence, the first time he’s given testimony at a trial.
Its hit game Fortnite implemented its own in-app payment – bypassing Apple’s 30% charges. Apple promptly kicked Epic Games off the App Store. But Epic Games was waiting for just that.
It slapped Apple with a 65-page lawsuit – and had even prepared a high production video, a spoof of Apple’s iconic 1984 advert for the Apple Mac. Epic Games have been claiming Apple for years. The charge imposed on Epic Games has been unreasonable.
Epic Games has tried to sell Fortnite away from these two stores. It tried to “sideload” the app on Android phones – to try and avoid Google’s own 30% charge. However, not enough people downloaded it away from Google Play.
Epic Games’ reluctant conclusion: if you want to make games for smartphones you have to be on either the App Store or Google Play.
Reported By James Clayton on BBC:
Critics also question how effective Apple’s vetting procedures are:
“There are all sorts of apps that have scams that Apple doesn’t catch. So their arguments about safety and security are sort of nonsense,”Matt Stoller -An Anti-Monopoly Campaigner
If you are interested? Here’s live courtroom audio of Epic Games Inc. vs Apple Inc. Trial
“In terms of the actual split, 70/30 is pretty standard across the board. One of the things that really stands out about Epic Games’ argument is that they have no complaint whatsoever. It’s all very hand-wavy, and very much a PR argument, not a legal one.”John Gruber – Influential Tech Blogger
So what are Apple’s chances? John Gruber (Influential Tech Blogger) thinks they’re good. According to epic games, their control over App Store is anti-competitive. They believe that developers should be able to make apps for smartphones without having to pay large sums to Apple (and to Google for Google Play purchases).
Meanwhile, Spotify, Match, and Tile are just a few of the many companies that have also claimed Apple’s charges are unfair.
“I do think that on legal grounds, Apple is in a very good position. But the risk is very high because [if they lost] it would disrupt the whole business model of the app store”.John Gruber – Influential Tech Blogger
Matt Stoller says that antitrust cases are notoriously hard to predict.
“Antitrust law, as it’s practiced in the US, is a complete mess. So we have no idea. The law basically depends on what the judge had for breakfast.”Matt Stoller An Anti-Monopoly Campaigner
Senator Klobuchar said that Apple’s App Store was a “literal monopoly”. In a Senate hearing two weeks ago, Apple’s Chief Compliance Officer Kyle Andeer was grilled by lawmakers. Politicians of all stripes – usually so divided on policy – were united in their attacks on Apple.
Epic Games’ big argument is: if they don’t want to pay, then where else do they go to sell their products?
Apple can afford good lawyers though. And, we all know how money works in court. Who will win this tech war in court? let’s see!
Interested in more about Technology? Read; Apple Arcade Unleashes 32 New Games!