Apple Inc. plans to prove in court that developers and consumers will be harmed if Epic Games Inc. managed to change the way the iPhone maker’s marketplace works.
On Thursday, Apple presented a plan of action to a California federal judge to counter Epic’s high-stakes antitrust fight over how much the App Store charges developers. The submission of documents takes place before the court on May 3 without a jury.
Summarizing its legal arguments, Apple argues that the 30% commission it charges most developers is not anti-competitive, as that is typical fees for other mobile and online platforms. What’s more, the company claims the revenue share is justified by the billions of dollars it has invested in developing the proprietary infrastructure that underpins its App Store, including software development kits and APIs.
“Epic has benefited significantly from its contractual relationship with Apple,” the court said in a statement. “Epic used Apple’s proprietary SDKs and thousands of proprietary APIs to develop games for iOS users.”
Apple said the game publisher does not want any restrictions on applications, be it technology or content accessed through the App Store. But Epic is overlooking the benefits of Apple’s app verification process, such as protecting user privacy and controlling platform-based malware attacks, that have helped developers and consumers, Apple said.
According to Apple, Fortnite has generated over $ 700 million in revenue from iOS customers in the two years the game was made available on the App Store. The company added that nothing prevents Epic Games from developing web applications for the iPhone and providing users with access to them through a browser.
Apple also reiterates its criticism of how Epic got its start, accusing the game maker of running a carefully planned public relations campaign – with hashtag #FreeFortnite – in an attempt to create its own payment system and app store on the iOS platform. …
Apple CEO Tim Cook and Epic CEO Tim Sweeney are among the company’s executives who will testify in court. Both companies also attracted a small army of economists presenting their positions to the judge.
The Epic Games Inc. case Apple Inc., 20-cv-05640, United States District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
– With the assistance of Mark Gurman and Olga Harif
(Updates with details from Apple’s submission from the third paragraph)