Questioning the notion of monopoly, attacking Epic’s good faith, or arguing that the App Store has a great role in the development of the fortnite business, these are the main lines of defence of the Cupertino firm.
APPLE VS FORTNITE
We now know the main arguments that Apple and Epic will deploy in the lawsuit that is expected to oppose them on May 3 2021. As a reminder, in August 2020, Apple removed Epic’s game Fortnite from the App Store after Epic attempted to bypass the App Store’s in-game purchase system.
These arguments were revealed on Thursday in submissions from Apple and Epic’s lawyers, which were posted on PACER, the site where US court decisions are published. Journalist Jack Purcher of Patently Apple, published a copy.
Apple’s case VS Epic Games
Thanks to these documents, we now know the core of what will be discussed in a little less than a month, if the pandemic does not interfere with the smooth running of the trial. Here, point by point, are the main arguments of Apple, which is defending itself in this trial, and which has planned to move many executives to convince the court.
The importance of the App Store
The Cupertino company insists that the App Store has created new opportunities that did not exist before.
The firm adds that the App Store has become extremely important to the business, as the app business generates millions of dollars worldwide.
Apps are mostly free
Apple also repeats over and over again, in the face of accusations of monopoly, that the vast majority of apps are free, implying that it does not earn any commission.
Saying that developers are free to go elsewhere
Apple points out that the App Store competes with other platforms, such as the Google Play Store, the Microsoft Store, and the Playstation Store, implying that developers can sell their applications on other online shops.
Further on in its conclusions, Apple develops a whole line of reasoning on the notion of intellectual property. The aim is to establish the principle that Apple has “no obligation to license its intellectual property”. To understand: Apple can choose who has the right to be on its store or not.
Stressing that Apple is not the market leader
A key argument that Apple repeats over and over again is that, contrary to what Epic said, the App Store is not the market leader in video games. Therefore, talking about a monopoly would not make sense.
Attacking “Project Freedom
Apple claims that Epic hired a PR firm in 2019 to prepare a media strategy called “Project Freedom”, with the aim of making “Apple look like the bad guy”. Judge Yvonne Rogers herself had said in October 2020 that she believed Epic knew exactly what it was doing with its controversial update, which led to the dispute between the two giants.
Recall the numbers
Epic reportedly earned more than $700 million from iOS users alone with Fortnite when the game was available on the platform, Apple says, recalling that Epic pays commissions on other platforms where Fortnite is distributed.
Recall that the 30% commission is only half there now
The 30% commission Apple gets on all transactions made on the App Store is the real bone of contention between the two giants. except that since December 2020, this commission is only 15% on the App Store for creators who make less than a million dollars a year.
Apple also adds that whatever the amount of the commission, it considers it a “fair price” for the work of maintaining and curating the App Store.