Apple, Epic Games Discoveries Lay Out Primary Arguments Ahead of May Trial

Apple and Epic Games have laid out their main arguments in dueling legal filings ahead of a trial next month.

Today saw the publication of court filings from both Apple and Epic Games in which the companies clarify what they consider to be the key facts and primary legal issues ahead of the antitrust trial scheduled to begin in May.

Apple, for its part, plans to argue that it does indeed face competition in the app market and that users would suffer should Epic succeed in its challenge to overturn the Cupertino company’s App Store policies.

Apple claims that the App Store has created new opportunities that didn’t exist before, becoming extremely important to the global economy, moving millions of dollars worldwide. Apple resists Epic’s allegations of anticompetitive behavior by arguing the 30 percent levy it places on developers is standard across the industry.

Epic Games, on the other hand, bases its case around the notion that Apple’s iPhones, with a user base of more than 1 billion, represent their own distinct market for software developers.

Epic argues that Apple has monopoly power over that market because it decides how users can install software on the devices. Epic claims that Apple abuses that power by forcing developers to deliver their software through the App Store, where developers are subject to fees on some transactions.

According to a CNBC report, Apple will argue that:

  • Its 30% commission is essentially the same as other online software stores like Google Play or stores for video game consoles and Apple’s fee has decreased over time.
  • It faces competition both for iPhones as well as other platforms to play games.
  • Its App Store policies have led to a boom in the software industry and result in greater safety and security for users.
  • The App Store is a core, integrated feature of the iPhone, and that using Apple payments for digital purchases is a key feature.

Epic, on the other hand, will argue that:

  • Apple forces consumers to bear high switching costs to stop using Apple products, locking them in.
  • As Apple has accumulated more customers and locked them in, the importance of selling software to Apple customers has grown.
  • Apple controls the only way to install software on an iPhone through the App Store.
  • Apple uses its App Review process, which manually screens individual apps, for anti-competitive purposes, removing apps for business reasons under the pretext of security.
  • Because some developers have chosen to raise iPhone software prices because of Apple’s 30% fee, it causes consumers to pay more, and Fortnite is an example.

Read Apple’s entire filing here and Epic Games’ here.

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