- Tram Ho
Lawyers on both sides released the opening statement, while Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney testified. The trial is scheduled to last for 3 weeks.
On the first day, the two had a heated argument. Epic Games accused Apple’s App Store of trapping users and developers in an anti-competitive marketplace, while Apple accused Fortnite manufacturer of “attacking” a business model that has enriched millions of developers.
The two companies that were once allied reappeared in court in the lawsuit initiated by Epic Games. They have to argue with a federal judge who will decide whether Apple is abusing its app marketplace monopoly. This is the first test of the larger wave of protests facing global developers and managers. These people believe that Apple is “withdrawing” with a fee of 30%, among other unfair policies.
The battle between Epic Games and Apple broke out in August 2020 when the developer announced to customers starting discounts when buying items in-game Fortnite. Then, Apple removed the app, making more than 1 billion iPhone and iPad users unable to access games on the App Store.
Epic Games raised the moral flag on May 3, claiming they were fighting on behalf of all developers fighting the world’s most valuable company. The game maker also invited CEO Tim Sweeney to testify, denying Apple’s allegations that the lawsuit was a PR trick aimed at stimulating Fortnite sales. In 2019, the game brought in $ 5.1 billion in revenue.
In the opening remarks, Epic Games attorney Katherine Forrest called the App Store a “well-fenced garden,” locked up users and developers with heavy contractual obligations with Apple. She reiterated the comment of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 2008, that the App Store licensing agreement was designed to “ward off competitors”. Epic Games also dug up 2011 emails from App Store leader Phil Schiller, suggesting the idea of cutting fees when the App Store made a profit of $ 1 billion.
On the side of Apple, lawyer Karen Dunn counter-attacked when he said that Epic Games’ legal hand threatens to disturb a market that brings great benefits to users and developers. “ Epic is here, asking the court to force Apple to let untrusted, untrusted apps slip into the App Store, something Apple never did. Apple’s unyielding commitment to safety, security, reliability, quality doesn’t allow that, and neither does antitrust laws require it, ”the attorney told District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers.
During the time of witnessing, CEO Epics Games admitted Epic deliberately violated the App Store terms and conditions when setting up a separate direct payment system on iOS to get rid of Apple charges. But he defended these actions to ” see the world as Apple fully control the presence of all software on iOS “.
Through cross-examination, Apple’s attorneys try to show that the 30% App Store fee is the general standard of the gaming industry. However, CEO Sweeny opposes the policy prohibiting users from uploading other app markets to Apple’s iOS devices.
In subsequent hearings, Apple will invite CEO Tim Cook, Schiller and another leader Craig Federighi to explain how they design the App Store.
Du Lam (According to SCMP)
Source : Genk