Apple’s App Retailer is delivered to justice as a result of the “walled backyard” is threatened.

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) – On Monday, Apple faced one of the most serious legal threats in years: a process that threatens to heighten the iron control of its app store and grosses billions of dollars each year while feeding more than 1.6 billion iPhones, iPads and other devices.

The federal court is filed by Epic Games, the maker of the popular video game Fortnite. Epic wants to overthrow the so-called “Walled Garden” of the App Store, which Apple built 13 years ago as part of a strategy by co-founder Steve Jobs.

Epic allegations that Apple turned a once tiny digital storefront into an illegal monopoly that pressures mobile apps for a significant portion of its revenue. Apple charges 15% to 30% commission on purchases in apps, from digital items in games to subscriptions. Apple denies Epic’s charges.

Apple’s hugely successful formula helped make the iPhone maker one of the most profitable companies in the world, one with a market value of over $ 2.2 trillion.

The privately owned Epic is puny by comparison, with an estimated market value of $ 30 billion. His aspirations to get bigger depend in part on his plan to offer an alternative app store on the iPhone. The North Carolina company also wants to get rid of Apple’s commissions. Over hundreds of millions of dollars were handed over to Apple, according to Epic, before Fortnite was banned from the App Store last August after Epic added a payment system that Apple bypassed.

Epic then sued Apple and instigated a courtroom drama that could shed new light on Apple’s management of the App Store. Both Apple CEO Tim Cook and Epic CEO Tim Sweeney will testify in a federal courtroom in Oakland, California that is set up to allow social distancing and with masks required at all times.

Neither side wanted a lawsuit and left the decision to U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who already appears to know her decision is likely to be challenged given the stakes in the case.

Much of the evidence will center on arcane but crucial arguments in favor of market definitions.

Epic claims the iPhone is so ingrained in society that the device and its ecosystem have become a monopoly that Apple can exploit to unfairly rich itself and thwart competition.

Apple claims that it faces significant competition from various video game alternatives on iPhones. For example, it points out that roughly 2 billion other smartphones don’t run iPhone software or work with the App Store – especially those that rely on Google’s Android system. Epic has filed separate lawsuits against Google, accusing it of illegally hollowing out apps through its own app store for Android devices.

Apple will also portray Epic as a desperate company starving for revenue streams beyond the aging Fortnite. It is alleged that Epic is simply looking to freeload an iPhone ecosystem that Apple has invested more than $ 100 billion in over the past 15 years.

It is estimated that Apple’s App Store sales are between $ 15 billion and $ 18 billion per year. Apple denies these estimates, although it hasn’t publicly released its own numbers. Instead, it was emphasized that 85% of the apps in his store don’t collect a penny.

The commissions it pockets are a sensible way for the company to recoup its investment, according to Apple, while also funding an app review process that it deems essential to keeping apps and their users safe. According to Kyle Andeer, Apple’s chief compliance officer, about 40% of the 100,000 or so apps submitted for review each week are rejected because of an issue.

Epic will attempt to prove that Apple is using the security issue to obscure its real motivation – maintaining a monopoly that makes app makers who can’t afford not to be available on the iPhone more profitable.

But the smaller company could face an uphill battle. Last fall, the judge voiced some skepticism in court before denying Epic’s motion to reintroduce Fortnite to Apple’s app store pending the outcome of the trial. At the time, Gonzalez Rogers claimed that Epic’s claims were “on the limits of antitrust law”.

The process is expected to take most of May. The decision will be made in the following weeks.

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