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Epic Games CEO cites Apple’s ‘total control’ over iPhones at first day of antitrust trial

Attorneys for ‘Fortnite’ creator Epic Games argued at an antitrust trial against Apple that the iPhone maker has turned its App Store into a ‘walled garden’ designed to lock in 1 billion iPhone users and the developers who want to reach them

5/4/2021 8:40:00 AM

Attorneys for ‘Fortnite’ creator Epic Games argued at an antitrust trial against Apple that the iPhone maker has turned its App Store into a ‘walled garden’ designed to lock in 1 billion iPhone users and the developers who want to reach them

The chief executive of 'Fortnite' creator Epic Games testified on Monday that he knew he was breaking Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) App Store rules by putting Epic's own in-app payment system into the game last year but wanted to highlight Apple's sway over the world's iPhone users, which now total 1 billion.

4 minute readThe chief executive of “Fortnite” creator Epic Games testified on Monday that he knew he was breaking Apple Inc’s(AAPL.O)App Store rules by putting Epic’s own in-app payment system into the game last year but wanted to highlight Apple’s sway over the world’s iPhone users, which now total 1 billion.

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"I wanted the world to see that Apple exercises total control over all software on iOS, and it can use that control to deny users' access to apps,” Tim Sweeney said from behind layers of plexiglass in a federal courthouse in Oakland, California, on the first day of an antitrust trial against Apple.

The trial, expected to run three weeks, brings to a head a lawsuit Epic brought last year in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that centers on two Apple practices that have become cornerstones of its business: Apple's requirement that virtually all third-party software for the world's 1 billion iPhones be distributed through its App Store, and the requirement that developers use Apple's in-app purchase system, which charges commissions of up to 30%. headtopics.com

Epic broke Apple's rules in August when it introduced its own in-app payment system in "Fortnite" to circumvent Apple's commissions. In response, Apple kicked Epic off its App Store.Epic sued Apple, alleging the iPhone maker is abusing its power over app developers with App Store review rules and payment requirements that hurt competition in the software market. Epic also launched an aggressive

public relations campaignto call attention to its allegations just as Apple’s practices have come under scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators in the United States and elsewhere.In opening arguments, Epic attorney Katherine Forrest of Cravath, Swaine & Moore laid out the gaming company's argument that Apple has "brick by brick" built its App Store into a "walled garden" meant to extract fees from developers who want to access Apple's 1 billion iPhone users. Forrest argued that Apple has locked those users into its ecosystem with apps like iMessage, which lets Apple users send messages to other devices but has limited functionality when communicating with Android users.

“The most prevalent flower in the walled garden is the Venus fly trap,” Forrest argued before Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers.Apple has countered Epic's allegations by arguing its App Store rules have made consumers feel safe and secure in opening up their wallets to unknown developers, helping create a massive market from which all developers have benefited. Apple argues that Epic intentionally broke its contracts with Apple because the game maker wanted a free ride on the iPhone maker's platform.

1/9Fortnite game graphic is displayed on a smartphone in front of Apple logo in this illustration taken May 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/IllustrationRead MoreIn opening arguments for Apple, attorney Karen Dunn of Paul, Weiss noted Epic is asking the judge to force Apple to let third-party software be installed on its phones outside the App Store, similar to the "side loading" the Android operating system already allows. headtopics.com

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“Epic is asking for government intervention to take away a choice that consumers currently have,” Dunn told the court.The courtroom was closed to the public, but in the audience as a "corporate witness" for each side were Epic's Sweeney and Phil Schiller, Apple's App Store chief.

Read more: Reuters Top News »

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Don’t mention it ـ The 'industry standard,' Apple is 30% cut BECAUSE YOU'RE THE INDUSTRY. Noone else is Apple... You could lower the cut, since you're charging over a grand for each new phone! Hell yeah EpicGames someone has to do it. Just like America Online before them. Apple harms the app market, you harm the gaming market. Two behemoths of their industries, two companies I'd rather not have around

Apple can and should treat all vendors equally AND control the environment that involves their platforms, that's why we trust Apple.

Epic Games vs. Apple Trial, Week One: Everything You Need to KnowLawyers for the “Fortnite” game creator laid the groundwork for its antitrust claims against the iPhone maker, alleging uneven treatment of app submissions and updates. SaveSheikhJarrah FreePalestine

Apple and ‘Fortnite’ Maker Epic Games to Square Off in CourtA trial is slated to begin Monday in a case that could reshape the relationship between software developers and app-store operators. Epic Games sued both Apple and Alphabet’s Google in August after the companies removed “Fortnite” from their mobile app stores. More good news please(((

Epic Games and Apple spar over consoles and walled gardens on opening day of trialEpic Games and Apple have kicked off their high-profile trial, beginning a legal battle that is expected to run for at least two weeks and has the potential to change not only the iPhone maker's app ecosystem, but also the broader app economy Sounds like an old fashioned shootout at the OK Corral pewpew Cancel Santorum

Analysis: In Apple versus Epic Games, courtroom battle is only half the fightEpic Games faces an uphill legal battle against Apple Inc (AAPL.O) in an antitrust trial starting Monday, and a defeat for the maker of 'Fortnite' could make it harder for U.S. government regulators to pursue a similar case against the iPhone maker, legal experts said.

Is Epic Games' showdown with Apple turning into a mismatch?In a high-stakes lawsuit the could have big implication for apps and mobile gaming, Epic Games has at times seemed to help make Apple's case as much as its own.