United States: Apple and Epic Games harden their arguments before trial

United States: Apple and Epic Games harden their arguments before trial
United States: Apple and Epic Games harden their arguments before trial

Apple and Epic Games filed more than 300 page arguments in Oakland court on Wednesday night. Senior officials are expected in person at the trial between them, including Apple boss Tim Cook and Epic Games boss Tim Sweeney.

According to Epic Games, Apple has a monopoly on the market for applications distributed on its smartphones and tablets through its platform, the App Store, and abuses it by imposing exorbitant commissions on developers and by favoring its own apps.

The hugely popular Fortnite video game group has filed a lawsuit against the Apple brand after trying to circumvent what it calls the “Apple tax” by offering users an alternative to the App Store payment system. Apple immediately excluded the game from the platform for breach of contract, a decision supported by the court last year.

But the case now exceeds the dispute between the two groups. Other companies, like Spotify, find the 15-30% commissions charged by Apple to be too high and unfair on most transactions made through the App Store and downloaded applications.

And various American antitrust regulators are investigating the practices of Apple, which is de facto judge and party on the App Store, since it also distributes its applications there. On other devices, the Android (Google) system works similarly, with one major difference: alternative platforms are allowed.

The Cupertino group has been arguing for years that its commission, of a standard level, is used to ensure the proper functioning of the platform, especially in terms of security. He believes that the success of the App Store benefits both users and developers like Epic Games, who make huge profits there.

But Apple is using the App Store “as a weapon against its competitors”, rejecting or delaying rival applications under “false pretenses”, say lawyers for Epic Games, citing the former manager of the store. ‘applications, Phil Shoemaker, who spoke in these terms during a hearing before a parliamentary committee last October.

The publisher also tries to dismantle the security argument. He cites internal Apple documents, where Eric Friedman, the director of an anti-fraud team, compared the App Store’s defenses to “a pretty young lady who greets you with flowers at the airport. ‘Hawaii instead of a dog trained in drug detection’.

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