Epic Chief Executive Officer
In opening statements, the iPhone maker accused Epic of a “fundamental assault” on a business model that has enriched millions of developers. The trial taking place in Oakland, California, is the first test of a broader backlash Apple is facing -- with billions of dollars in revenue on the line -- from global regulators and some app developers who say its standard App Store fee of 30% and others policies are unfair and self-serving. The fight with Epic blew up in August when the game maker told customers it would begin offering a discounted direct purchase plan for items in Fortnite, and Apple then removed the game app, cutting off access for more than a billion customers.
Epic sought to stake out the moral high ground Monday, saying it’s fighting Apple on behalf of all developers. The game maker’s CEO denied allegations that the lawsuit is a publicity stunt to boost flagging sales of Fortnite, Epic’s marquee battle-royale game that generated $5.1 billion in revenue last year.
In a gotcha moment, Forrest, a former federal judge, resurrected a comment she said Apple co-founder
“Epic is here, demanding that this court force Apple to let into its App Store untested and untrusted apps and app stores, which is something Apple has never done,” Dunn told U.S. District Judge
“The world should see that Apple exercises total control over availability of all software on iOS,” he said.
Through Sweeney’s cross-examination, Apple’s lawyers tried to show that the 30% App Store commission is a gaming industry standard. Sweeney said he was opposed to Apple’s policy of blocking users from downloading other app marketplaces on iOS mobile devices so they would spend their money on purchases beyond the App Store.
Gonzalez Rogers asked Sweeney if he had reached out to lawyers representing developers who filed a class-action lawsuit over the same issues before he sued Apple. Sweeney said he was aware of the case but Epic went ahead and sued Apple on its own.
Later in the trial, which is expected to last three weeks, Apple will call on CEO
The case is Epic Games Inc. v. Apple Inc., 20-cv-05640, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (Oakland).
--With assistance from
To contact the reporter on this story:
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
© 2021 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.