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Published: May 18, 2021

Written by: Edward Pearcey

  • The trial between Epic Games and Apple continues
  • The lawsuit began on May 3 with Epic accusing Apple of monopolist practices
  • The arguments both parties present continue to reveal interesting details

As the lawsuit between Epic Games and Apple progresses, more curious details come to light.

A Recap of Everything until Now

On May 3 2021 began a case the outcome of which may impact the virtual application industry as a whole. On one side we have Epic Games led by its CEO Tim Sweeney. Sweeney is a prominent critique of monopolist practices and is accusing Apple of practicing them in the light of the latter company removing Epic’s game Fortnite from the App Store. Sweeney is simultaneously targeting Google for the same reasons. On the other side, we have Apple which claims Epic Games is acting in a dishonest manner and purposefully challenged them.

The lawsuit proved to be a gold mine for interesting facts about the inner working of the two companies and information that was never before revealed to the public. We learned that Epic’s own store is yet to turn a profit, that Tim Sweeney has previously urged Tim Cook to make the iOS an open platform, that the App Store’s search engine is biased, and more. We even got some insightful statistics about cross-platform games which we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

As the trial continues, more curious information is being revealed.

Monday, May 10

Steve Jobs didn’t foresee the App Store’s success.

“Just to make it a little clearer, we don’t intend to make money off the App Store”, the company’s co-founder had said in 2008.

The one who brought this old interview to the negotiations table was Dr. David Evans, the chairman of Global Economics Group. Evans is dedicated to following and analyzing competition policies and sided with Epic for the trial against Apple’s anticompetitive approach.

In the original interview, Jobs was asked about the prospects of the App Store monopolizing the market. The co-founder then revealed he doesn’t expect the App Store to prove as lucrative as it has become in reality. The interview continues with Jobs explaining why he thinks so:

“I mean, we don’t make a lot of money off iTunes and the split with the music companies is about the same, so in the case of the iTunes Music Store, we give all the money to the content owners, and we are basically giving all the money to the developers here and if that 30% of it pays for running the story, well that will be great, but we just want to create a very efficient channel for these developers to reach every single iPhone user.”

Apple claims that the Coalition for App Fairness was specifically created to combat them.

According to Apple lawyers and documents they presented, the Coalition would have never been born if Apple obliged Epic’s requests on lowering the 30 percent commission. The arguments were based on Epic’s vice president of marketing Matthew Weissinger’s testimony. However, Weissinger reminded that Epic Games is in a simultaneous lawsuit with Google and that it’s about the principle, not about the specific relationship between Epic Games and Apple.

The Coalition for App Fairness is currently comprised of Epic Games, Tinder, Spotify, Match Group and other companies who aren’t happy with the 30% commission.

Monday, May 17

Apple doesn’t have an issue with games within a game as long as they are created independently.

The lawsuit raised some interesting questions, one of which is how does Apple view games within another game. Apple Fellow Phil Schiller answered this during his testimony yesterday. According to Schiller, Apple doesn’t have an issue if the game within a game is created by independent creators, like in Roblox.

However Schiller’s answer was far from providing a clear idea on how Apple handles such apps. If else, it may have led to more confusion.

The lawsuit continues to develop and provide industry enthusiasts with important details about how the market works. It is exciting to see how the trial will resolve and how it will impact the market as a whole.

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