On day one, Epic and first witness Tim Sweeney, the company’s CEO, attempted to build Apple’s App Store, and the refusal to allow other app stores on its platform was against competition. Apple̵7;s rigorous iOS ecosystem, which it calls a “walled garden”, is a monopoly and is calling on iPhone makers to allow alternative app stores and possible apps on their own external devices. And what Approved
“Epic is solely looking at changing Apple’s future behavior,” and not any financial damage, Sweeney said during his testimony.
Apple states that allowing the app on unrestricted devices will affect the ecosystem’s security and privacy, a feature that is highlighted as a selling point. It also argues that there is competition in the massive video game market, which is just a small fraction, so there is no monopoly and that position cannot be violated.
The day-to-day operations are centered on both companies trying to frame how they shape their businesses. Sweeney describes Fortnite as a “metaverse” and “social experience,” a virtual world with movies, TV shows and “social experiences”. Concerts other than playing games only
Market determination is key in any potential antitrust case. Monopoly under US law is not illegal. Trying to maintain a monopoly at competitive costs is only illegal.Apple is trying to build its iOS operating system to compete with many other platforms, so it doesn’t go against antitrust laws.
Epic said Apple is using iOS to lock users and developers in a limited environment that would charge significant fees for additional transactions. A lawyer named Catherine Forrest at one point compared Apple to a car dealer that charges its customers every time they fill up their car with gas.
Apple is pushing back on allegations of anti-competitive behavior by focusing on the gaming industry, claiming that Fortnite is available on other major platforms, including personal computers, Google’s Android operating system and even Epic’s own online game store. Popular video game consoles such as Sony’s PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Switch, all users of those platforms can play Fortnite with each other, and most make in-app purchases on one platform for use on another, Apple argued.
“Epic is asking the government to intervene in the choices that consumers have right now,” Apple attorney Karen Dunn said during the opening statement.
Another Apple attorney, Richard Doren, pointed out during a Sweeney review that Epic pays a 30% fee to its console platforms, even if those platforms do not allow third-party apps or alternative payment methods. Sweeney argued that the console, which lost money on hardware sales and made up of software, had a different business model than Apple’s profitable app store.
The judge’s verdict, and of course, an almost certainly subsequent appeal could have a number of implications, not just for Apple and the iOS ecosystem, but other app stores and the overall app economy that grows. Up to hundreds of thousands of millions Dollars and supports millions of jobs. This could change the way in-app purchases work, or forcing energy technology platforms to rule the increasingly digital world.