An important trial begins in Oakland, California on Monday, May 3, 2021. As I am sure you know, this lawsuit is against Epic Games and Apple. In the next three weeks we should see a fierce battle between the two sides. The stakes are so high that Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, and Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, are both called to the bar.
It must be said that the judgment of this process could have immense consequences for the future. In the event that Epic Games is successful, the entire economic model of the App Store and much more should collapse. Note that Apple almost ruled out the possibility of a financial settlement as the Epic Games allegations are important.
The beginning of a long and fascinating process
As a reminder, the editor of Fortnite accuses Apple of abusing a dominant position over the App Store. The company Cupertino prevents a third-party developer from using a different payment solution than the one offered in the App Store. This payment system that charges a commission of 30% for every transaction. Epic Games isn’t the first company to speak out against this system, as Spotify or Match Group (Tinder’s parent company) have already sued Apple with similar allegations.
It all started when Epic Games decided to bypass the App Store commission by adding its own payment system to the mobile version of Fortnite. A solution considered a violation of the rules of the App Store that caused Fortnite to disappear from the App Store. The game’s popularity is so great that the affair quickly grew enormously, so it wasn’t long before #FreeFortnite came out.
In the eight months between Fortnite’s ban and the start of the trial, the two companies started a kind of cold war. On the one hand, Epic Games, which believes that owners of an iPhone should be able to install any application the way they want; on the other, Apple, which defends its closed environment that allows it to maintain security and error-free performance, two factors that are becoming increasingly important are becoming increasingly rare.
It remains to be seen how this process will develop over the next few days.