April 21, 2021

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Apple (AAPL) Reveals Line of Attack for App Store Trial Against Epic

Epic Games Inc. Fortnite App As Gamers Flock

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Apple Inc. plans to argue at a trial that developers and consumers will suffer if Epic Games Inc. succeeds in upending how the iPhone maker’s app marketplace is run.

Apple presented a California federal judge on Thursday with a road map of how it will push back against Epic in a high-stakes antitrust fight over how much the App Store charges developers. The filing comes ahead of a May 3 trial before the judge with no jury.

In a summary of its legal arguments, Apple contends the 30% commission it charges most developers isn’t anticompetitive as it’s a typical fee across other mobile and online platforms. Moreover, the company argues taking a share of the revenue 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 application programming interfaces.

“Epic has benefited handsomely from its contractual relationship with Apple,” the court submission said. “Epic has used Apple’s proprietary SDKs, and thousands of proprietary APIs to develop games for iOS users.”

The maker of Fortnite, which Apple removed from its store last year, accuses the iPhone maker’s app store of being an illegal monopoly because developers are barred from making their iPhone and iPad apps available through their own websites. On Thursday, the game studio laid out its own arguments in the dispute, saying Apple’s conduct harms innovation and allows it to profit at the expense of independent developers.

Read more: Apple Probed by U.K. as App Store Payments Scrutiny Mounts

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