Apple and Epic Games Head to Court Over App Store

Apple and Epic Games are currently embroiled in a legal battle over the fees and policies of the App Store. Here are the key details of the case:


Epic Games, the developer of popular video game Fortnite, created a direct payment option within the game in August 2020, which violated Apple’s App Store policies. Apple responded by removing Fortnite from the App Store, and Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple, alleging that the App Store’s fees and policies are anticompetitive.

The App Store’s Fees and Policies

Apple’s App Store is the only way for developers to distribute apps to iPhone and iPad users, and it charges a 30% commission on in-app purchases. This commission has been a point of contention for many developers, who argue that it is too high and restricts competition. In addition, Apple requires developers to use its payment system for in-app purchases, which means that it can collect the commission.

Epic Games’ Allegations

Epic Games argues that Apple’s policies are anticompetitive and harm both developers and consumers. The company alleges that Apple has a monopoly on the distribution of apps to iPhone and iPad users, and that its fees and policies stifle competition and innovation in the app market. Epic Games also argues that Apple’s policies result in higher prices for consumers, as developers are forced to pass on the commission to them.

Apple’s Response

Apple argues that its App Store policies are necessary to maintain the security and privacy of its devices, and that the 30% commission is a reasonable fee for the services it provides to developers. The company also argues that Epic Games violated its App Store policies by creating a direct payment option within Fortnite, and that it had no choice but to remove the app from the store.

The Trial

The trial began on May 3, 2021, and is being heard by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. The trial is expected to last for several weeks, and both sides have called on numerous witnesses to testify.

Possible Outcomes

If Epic Games wins the case, it could lead to significant changes in the App Store’s policies and fees, as well as in the broader app market. Apple could be forced to reduce its commission or allow alternative payment systems, which could lead to increased competition and innovation. If Apple wins the case, it could solidify the App Store’s dominance in the app market and maintain its control over the fees and policies.

Implications for the App Market

The outcome of the trial could have far-reaching implications for the app market, as it could set a precedent for how app stores are regulated and how fees and policies are set. If the court finds in favor of Epic Games, it could lead to increased competition and innovation in the app market, as well as lower prices for consumers. If the court finds in favor of Apple, it could further entrench the dominance of the App Store and limit competition and innovation.

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