2/2 © Reuters. Fortnite graphic and Apple logo shown in illustration 2/2
By Stephen Nellis (Reuters) – Lawyers for “Fortnite” creator Epic Games and Apple Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 will present opening arguments Monday in an antitrust lawsuit whose bottom line could affect the rapid growth of Apple’s App Store business. . The lawsuit, which Epic filed last year in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, focuses on two of Apple’s practices that have become cornerstones of its business: the Apple requirement. that virtually all third-party software for the world’s 1 billion iPhones be distributed through its App Store, and the requirement that developers use Apple’s in-app purchase system, which charges commissions of up to 30%. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers (NYSE 🙂 will preside over the three-week trial in a courtroom in Oakland, California. The Apple legal team of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher arrived in court Monday morning with about 20 boxes of documents, followed by Phil Schiller, head of Apple’s App Store. The Epic legal team of Cravath, Swaine & Moore arrived with a similar number of boxes and followed by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney. Both executives are expected to attend the entire trial, which will also feature in-person testimony from Apple CEO Tim Cook and other senior executives from both firms. Epic broke Apple’s rules last year when it introduced its own in-app payment system in “Fortnite” to circumnavigate Apple’s commissions. In response, Apple kicked Epic out of its App Store. Epic sued Apple, claiming that the iPhone maker is abusing its app developer power with App Store review rules and payment requirements that hurt competition in the software market. Epic also launched an aggressive public relations campaign to draw attention to its allegations just as Apple’s practices have come under scrutiny by lawmakers and regulators in the United States and elsewhere. Apple has countered Epic’s allegations by arguing that App Store rules have made consumers feel safe opening their wallets to unknown developers, helping to create a mass market that all developers have benefited from. Apple argues that Epic intentionally broke its contracts with Apple because the game’s maker wanted a free ride on the iPhone maker’s platform. Epic is not asking for monetary damages, but is asking the court to make orders that would end many of Apple’s practices.