An anti-trust lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games, a game company famous for its “Fortnite” game, will begin soon over the App Store fee policy. Depending on the outcome of the trial, the digital app market led by big tech companies such as Apple and Google may change.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) (5/2), the first trial of an anti-trust lawsuit filed by Epic Games against Apple over app store fees will begin in a California District Court on the 3rd.
Epic Games against Apple Lawsuit
Earlier in August, Epic Games filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Apple. Saying that forcing Apple to pay its in-app payment method. It is a system that only pays in the way provided by the App Store. And charging a 30% fee for all payments in the app is a competitive restriction. Epic Games established its own payment system in protest of Apple’s fee policy. Which Apple saw as a violation of the App Store rules and removed Fortnite from the App Store. Leading to a bitter conflict between the two sides.
“Apple is using the App Store to dominate the only distribution channel of iPhone apps,” Epic Games said. “We have been restricting competition by charging excessive fees to app developers by exploiting this position.” Epic Games also pointed out that Apple’s operating profit ratio in the app market is more than 80%.
On the other hand, Apple countered that few app developers pay fees because most apps are free. And that the average fee charged to actual app developers is 15%. Apple also explained that its app store is only one of many app distribution channels and does not have an exclusive status. Apple’s explanation is based on its broader view of the digital app market. Based on its interpretation that the app store is competing with other companies’ digital app markets, including Google’s Play Store and Sony’s PlayStation Store.
Regulatory authorities around the world are also moving on the issue of app store fees. The U.S. Department of Justice is conducting an anti-trust investigation into Apple’s competitive restrictions. And a hearing on the issue held last month at the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
The European Union filed a lawsuit against Apple on April 30 for violating anti-trust rules.
The Epic Games lawsuit began amid a series of anti-trust investigations and complaints by regulators. Along with conflicts between app developers and IT companies such as Apple and Google. Drawing keen attention to the future outcome of the trial.
If Epic Games wins, Apple will likely have to give up a significant portion of its profits in the explosive growth app store market with its App Store fee policy. Apple made $72.3 billion in sales from its App Store last year.
On the contrary, Apple’s victory could result in app developers around the world being forced to unilaterally comply with Apple’s contract terms.