Lawyers for Epic Games and
presented their final arguments to a California federal judge on Monday to conclude a three-week trial in which video game developer Fortnite accused Apple of being anti-competitive in its App Store exclusivity.
Epic argued that Apple is improperly blocking third-party app stores on its mobile devices and forcing developers to use the App Store’s payment system for digital transactions, collect commissions up to 30%.
Apple retorted that there are many ways for users to access Epic’s Fortnite, that its commission is in line with that of other platforms, and that Epic only wants to profit from the investment and the store. ‘Apple without paying its fair share.
In closing arguments Monday, Epic’s attorney Gary Bornstein said consumers are choosing the iPhone without giving too much consideration to the back-end fees associated with the platform. Then, once a customer purchases an iPhone, upgrade costs and other factors make it difficult for them to switch between competing devices.
âSaying ‘we are caring and talented people’ is not enough to say ‘we should have this market to ourselves,’â said Bornstein.
Apple’s lawyers responded that its ecosystem itself is attractive to consumers, while Apple remains competitive against other platforms and devices.
Bornstein also argued that Apple’s search and discovery features provide an incentive to pay for a large placement. He said if there were alternative markets competing with the App Store, it would encourage more competitive practices. Apple’s lawyers noted that anyone who wants mobile devices with multiple market options can choose to purchase an Android device.
Apple faces criticism over several fronts. Lawmakers, regulators and software developers complain that it has too much control and restricts competition. Apple says its practices are designed to create a good user experience.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Friday that third-party app stores aren’t as motivated to protect the privacy of Apple users’ data and guard against malware. Additionally, he said limiting apps to their own in-app purchasing system allows Apple to charge developers for the services it provides.
Apple’s attorney said Epic wanted the court to force Apple to lower its guard over App Store content. “The only thing we know is that there are a lot of threats today, and tomorrow there will be all the threats that there are today and more,” he said. .
Epic’s Bornstein countered that nothing prevents Apple from imposing guidelines or restrictions on the App Store. “The problem is, they’re the only store in town that gets iPhone apps.”
The closing arguments on Monday were debate-type, with the judge asking questions of lawyers on both sides. A judge’s decision is not expected for months.
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org