With the start of the trial of the dispute between Epic Games and Apple on Monday (4), the companies presented their first arguments. The Fortnite creator pointed out, among other points, to what she believes to be a monopoly on iOS. The owner of the App Store, in turn, claimed that the demands of the producer would make her system turn into Android.
“Epic wants us to be Android, but we don’t want to be,” said Apple. “Our consumers don’t want us to be either.” The statement was made when the company pointed out that the Play Store has far more malware incidents than the App Store. The data was used to defend the restrictions existing in the iOS app store.
On the other hand, Epic claims that it does not want to turn iOS into Android. The company said it instead asked Apple to adopt an alternative such as macOS, which allows applications to be installed without the need to use the Mac App Store. For the producer, the model also ensures safety for users.
The argument is a response to Apple, which advocates installing iOS apps only on the App Store for security reasons. The company also claims that its app store offers privacy, stability and quality to users.
What Epic Games says
Epic Games’ lawyers have again pointed to what they see as anti-competitive practices and an Apple monopoly. The producer questions the 30% fee for using the payment system for in-app purchases. The lawsuit calls for Apple to be forced to allow third-party stores and payment systems on iOS.
The Fortnite creator presented emails from Apple executives to demonstrate that the restrictions on the App Store are planned acts by Apple. One was reportedly sent in 2013 by Eddy Cue, vice president of services for Tim Cook, now the company’s CEO, and Phil Schiller, leader of the App Store.
“The more people use our stores, the more likely they are to buy additional Apple products and upgrade to the latest versions. Who is going to buy a Samsung cell phone if they have already purchased apps, movies, etc.? ”, Cue would have said in the e-mail.
In the indictment, Epic also points out that charging the fee for in-app purchases is unrelated to security, Apple support or costs to process payments. The company also points out that, in the second year of subscriptions, the rate is reduced to 15%, even though there is no difference in costs.
“There is a name for companies that set prices without considering costs,” said Epic. “Monopolies”. For the producer, the requirement to download iOS apps from the App Store “is not a technical decision, but a political decision”.
Epic further claimed that “it is not suing for damages”, nor for a “special agreement”, but “for changes, not only for itself, but for all developers”. The producer points out that it was just one company that finally managed to say “enough for Apple’s monopolistic conduct”.
What Apple says
Apple points out that the action is “just an attack on the 30% commission that Epic does not want to pay”. The iOS owner claims that Epic “decided it doesn’t want to pay more for Apple’s innovations” and questioned the arguments used to demonstrate what would be a monopoly on its operating system.
According to Apple surveys, 12% to 26% of iOS users who have purchased a phone in the past few months have switched to another platform. The company wants to indicate that there are alternatives for users and that they are not blocked in the iOS ecosystem.
The company points out that the decision to restrict downloads of iOS apps from the App Store is based on security concerns. According to him, putting third-party apps on the system without review can compromise the cell phone. The company’s lawyers also claim that the cell phone requires more layers of protection than the computer.
Also according to Apple, Epic has other platforms available such as Stadia and Luna that can be accessed on the phone by the browser. The iOS owner also claimed that many Fortnite users can access the game through other means such as Xbox and PlayStation.
In its defense, Apple released an email from Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney to Microsoft in which the executive would have admitted the existence of alternatives. In the message, he allegedly stated that “certain plans for August [de 2020]”- what would be the action against Apple – would create“ opportunities for consoles in contrast to mobile platforms ”.
Apple said that if Epic wins this dispute, app developers will be able to benefit from Apple’s intellectual property such as SDKs and APIs without paying anything. The owner of the iPhone said that if Epic wins, the result will be “less security, less reliability, less quality and less choice”.
What happens to the process?
The dispute between Epic Games and Apple is analyzed by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, in the court of Oakland, California. In this stage, which should take about three months, the companies will present testimonials from executives to defend their arguments. Among the predicted speeches are that of Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The action started in August 2020 after Fortnite was removed from the App Store for using its own payment system, not Apple’s. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney testified on Monday (3) and said the decision was made to demonstrate how Apple has “total control” over developers.
With information: MacRumors, Ars Technica.