After a year-long fight between Apple and Epic Games, both of them are now finally facing each other at court. For those of you who don’t know what the case is about, this all started a year ago and may just have been the biggest trap Apple has been caught up in. This all began in August, last year when Epic Games decided to bypass Apple, App Store to avoid their 30% charges. They implemented their own in-app payment in Fortnite, which led to Apple kicking off Epic Games from their App Store.
Epic Games’ response was so quick that people believe that it was all planned, they slammed a 65-page long lawsuit on Apple and even prepared a video, which is a spin-off of Apple’s iconic 1984 advert for the Apple Mac. It’s like the people at Epic knew that this would happen and they all had their weapons ready. This was bound to happen as Epic Games claimed for years that Apple’s charges were close to extortion.
Finally, in court, the trial between the two companies began on Monday with even Apple CEO Tim Cook giving evidence. This would the first time he is giving testimony in a trial. Of course, he will appear, Apple’s App Store charges are one of the main sources of income for the company. The hearing took place online however the public hearing failed to mute the people who were listening which began with a chaotic onslaught of Fornite fans who want it back on the App Store.
Epic Games’ claim is simple, they believe that Apple’s control over the App Store is anti-competitive. They referred to Apple’s 30% charges as “Apple Tax”. The company believes that developers should be able to make apps for smartphones without having to pay large sums to Apple. The same for Google Play.
This lawsuit led many other companies to also criticize Apple’s policies. Companies’ like Spotify, Match, and Tile also claimed that the charges were unfair. Even the Senate is now gunning for Apple, as in a hearing two weeks ago, Apple’s Chief Compliance Officer Kyle Andeer was grilled and questioned by lawmakers. Politicians were now united in their attacks on Apple. Senator Klobuchar voiced his opinion by saying that the App Store was a “Literal Monopoly”.
Apple’s response to the claims is also understandable. The company says that the App Store is its own invention and as a private company it is able to charge what it wants. They also pointed out that a 30% charge to developers is an industry standard. Apple gave out names of not just Google but also Microsoft, Steam, Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo. I guess Apple doesn’t want to be the only one in this sinking ship.
It’s currently hard to predict who’ll come out on top in this case. The claims of both parties are justified in their own way. However, experts say that on legal grounds, Apple has a better position while some say that Antitrust law decisions are mostly dependent on what the judge decides.