Apple and Epic Games have Filed "Findings of Fact & Conclusion of Law" Documents with the Court Prior to the May 3, 2021 Trial
It's being reported that Apple plans to argue that it faces abundant competition in the market for video game transactions to defend itself against antitrust allegations by "Fortnite" maker Epic Games, the iPhone maker said on Thursday.
In a federal trial scheduled to begin May 3, the companies will fight over whether Apple’s 15% to 30% commissions for use of its in-app payment systems, and its longstanding practice of exercising control over which apps users can install, amount to anticompetitive behavior.
Epic and Apple filed dueling position statements with the court on Thursday in preparation for the trial in Oakland, California.
Epic in its filing contended iPhones, with more than 1 billion users, represent their own distinct market for software developers. Epic has argued that Apple has monopoly power over that market because it decides how users can install software on the devices and says it abuses that power by forcing developers to deliver their software through the App Store, where developers are subject to fees on some transactions.
Apple rejected that notion in its filing and said the proper market to analyze the case is the broader video game transaction field, which includes platforms such as Nintendo Co Ltd and Microsoft Corp’s Xbox gaming consoles, which also limit the software that can run on their hardware and charge fees to developers.
Apple says consumers have choices in carrying out video game transactions, including purchasing virtual tokens from game developers on other platforms such as Windows PCs and using the tokens on iPhones with no fees to the developer. For more on this, read the full Reuters report.
A report by CNBC posted earlier today goes into a little more depth by noting that the late-night filings from both Apple and Epic Games lengthy and packed with detail. Below you can find a bulleted summary of how each company will plan to make its case in court:
Apple will argue that:
- Its 30% commission is essentially the same as other online software stores like Google Play or stores for video game consoles and Apple’s fee has decreased over time.
- It faces competition both for iPhones as well as other platforms to play games.
- Its App Store policies have led to a boom in the software industry and result in greater safety and security for users.
- The App Store is a core, integrated feature of the iPhone, and that using Apple payments for digital purchases is a key feature.
Epic will argue that:
- Apple forces consumers to bear high switching costs to stop using Apple products, locking them in.
- As Apple has accumulated more customers and locked them in, the importance of selling software to Apple customers has grown.
- Apple controls the only way to install software on an iPhone through the App Store.
- Apple uses its App Review process, which manually screens individual apps, for anti-competitive purposes, removing apps for business reasons under the pretext of security.
- Because some developers have chosen to raise iPhone software prices because of Apple’s 30% fee, it causes consumers to pay more, and Fortnite is an example.
Below are the full filings by both Apple and Epic Games in Scribd documents courtesy of Patently Apple.