When two massive companies sue each other, what should be the outcome? Yes, we are talking about the Apple and Epic case. After all controversies, we finally have a decision in the Epic games vs Apple trial. We are going to break down everything about this lawsuit.
All of these started last summer. Activating a new payment method in Epic’s most popular game Fortnite was the main cause of all these actions. This payment option circumvented Apple’s 30% commission. Obviously, Epic encouraged people to use it. They offered a discount as well.
After that, Apple came with a quick response. They wiped Fortnite from the App Store for going against the company’s rules. This was Apple’s initial statement. Guess what? Epic knew this was going to happen and they were ready for it. So they were ready with An antitrust lawsuit and a massive PR campaign.
If you want to know what this lawsuit means for iPhone users, just stick with us until the end.
The Final Outcome of The Epic Games vs Apple trial
As an iPhone user, you might be worried about the effect of this trial. Let us make it clear that it will not bother you. If you want to know it better, then you have to check out the judge’s decision over it. You can say, mostly Apple won it.
Undoubtedly that is a massive victory for Apple. But they have to make some changes in the policy of the App Store. For understanding it easily, we will take you through a detailed explanation.
The key questions from the heart of the trial:
The official Epic V Apple trial kicked off at the beginning of May earlier this year. It ended before the month was over. The judge in that case US District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said a decision could take months. The main question is what market exactly was at stake here?
Epic complained that Apple is a monopoly. It has no competition since Apple controlled every system in the iOS ecosystem in-app payment. In Apple’s view, there was no relationship between this case and monopoly. In this complaint, it was competing in the games market which has tons of competition.
The next question was about Apple’s anti-steering rule. That bans developers from linking out or even mentioning other payment methods for apps on the App Store. It felt anti-competitive like Epic insisted it was. Lastly is Apple an illegal monopolist like epic alleged in its filing?
Recently a bipartisan bill called the open app markets act was introduced in Congress that would place restrictions on how App Stores are run. That was about not forcing developers to use an App Store owner’s payment system. Moreover, it also includes not forcing people through a single App Store to install apps on their devices.
That’s not the end. Not banning developers from telling users about pricing on other platforms is another part of the bill. You can see how this would be a huge deal if it was passed, especially for Apple. In this topic, it is necessary to mention that a few weeks ago a provision was passed in South Korea.
The statement was about App Store operators who could not force customers to use their payment systems. So they had to allow developers the option to implement alternative payment systems. It seems like Google and Apple’s grip on their respective App Store is losing.
Let’s get back to the trial. Was Apple’s action anti-competitive? So in search of fact, The Judge could not really agree with any of this company’s definitions of the relevant market. She said that after reviewing the evidence the court landed on the digital mobile gaming transaction market.
So specifically the market of all those purchases customers spend on and in mobile games is itself a 100 billion dollar industry. Most of the revenue of the App Store is generated by gaming apps. So there is the relevant market defined by the court.
Here the court did not consider the full gaming industry like Apple insisted and the party of one monopoly iOS App Store payment system that Epic said it was. Now, what about that whole anti-steering rule? Well, here the Judge ruled against Apple.
They found it in violation of California’s unfair competition law. That is really a big deal. In fact, the court issued a permanent injunction restraining Apple. It won’t be able to expressly ban developers from talking about linking. In short, Apple can not set a limitation of paying by only its own method.
That will take effect in 90 days. It is around December 9th of this year. The injunction says that either party can modify it only if it brings good cause to the court. We have to wait until Apple figures out any loophole and convince the court to change it.
Will this Epic vs Apple case change the iPhone user’s ecosystem?
Though Apple considered it a victory, Epic is still looking to appeal again. As the anti-steering charge was found valid, Apple might bring some changes. Probably you will see some new third-party links or payment systems in some apps. There are possibilities to show in-app ads outside the App Store. But this is just the opening.
This 185-page document includes some massive facts that can reappear as a game-changing threat for Apple. This time Epic has to give 3.7 million dollars to Apple for missed fees.
As Judges called an end to this case with their decision, Apple should not take it that easy. This showed the world that a tech giant like Apple can be sued. You may know that Google was also charged by Epic for the same issue. So it is high time to take it seriously.
Apple and Google already reduced their commissions to 15% for the first 1 million dollar revenue in a year. That seems like a respective gesture toward the developers from both giants. Whatever they are doing, they need to find and fix the leakages in their system.
No one knows what is upcoming. You can not deny the possibilities of a well-organized backfire. So Apple needs to be prepared with all their clearances.
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