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An epic antitrust trial against Apple awaits verdict

An epic antitrust trial against Apple awaits verdict

Apple CEO Tim Cook at the iPhone Maker 2019 event afp_tickers

This content was published on May 25, 2021 – 00:11

(AFP)

The US federal judge responsible for the lawsuit against Apple against Apple for its control of the App Store is expected to issue a ruling after the two companies were subjected to strict questioning, when on Monday (24) it concluded the trial hearings that could redefine the guidelines. In the world of digital commerce.

US District Court judge, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, has heard final arguments in the case presented by Epic in its attempt to break Apple’s tight control over its app store and the potential impact on the entire mobile ecosystem.

A California federal court judge told attorneys that she would hand down her verdict in writing while the memories were “still fresh,” but that it might take some time.

In this media antitrust case, Epic attorney Gary Bornstein argued that Apple defines itself as the “top manager for good” of the App Store, even though its terms stifle competition.

Apple’s attorney Richard Doren responded that Epic is essentially trying to run its app store on the iPhone manufacturer’s platform without paying anything for it and undermining user safety in the process.

The judge posed skeptical questions to both parties, though she was careful not to give clues about how she would rule the case.

“One issue that worries me is that your customer doesn’t seem interested in paying for access to iOS clients,” Gonzales asked an attorney for Epic, the Apple operating system.

He added that the video game developer “attacks the fundamental way Apple is generating revenue.”

These questions came after a surprisingly difficult interrogation by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who attended the trial as a witness last Friday.

Gonzalez Rogers hinted to Cook that day that Apple’s commission on selling apps, which could be as high as 30%, seemed uneven and stressed that “after this first interaction, (…) the developer is taking care of these customers, while Apple only benefits from With them “.

Unconfirmed result

Epic, the maker of the popular video game Fortnite, is seeking to force Apple to open the App Store to third parties, even if it gives users the ability to bypass Apple’s payment system procedures.

Apple removed Fortnite from its app store last year, after Epic offered its players to purchase the game’s cheapest virtual currency if they had direct access to its payment system, not Apple’s.

The judge also indicated that Epic is suing Google in a different federal court over its dominance in the Play Store, its own app store, while asking it to ask the App Store to be like its Android counterpart, the OS. Which although it works in a similar way to iOS, it allows for other download platforms.

Some analysts noted that the case for Epic was stronger than initially thought, although the outcome remained unconfirmed.

“Things have changed dramatically for Epic in the past few days,” said Richard Windsor, founder of research firm Radio Free Mobile.

He concluded by saying, “Unfortunately, I doubt that this case will continue for years and that the Supreme Court of the United States will ultimately decide on it.”

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