It’s the slap-fight that won’t end as two corporations that already own a fascinatingly large stake in their markets continue to spar in court.
A decision filed Tuesday night shows that both Apple and Epic have agreed to a bench trial, rather than bringing this in front of a public jury. We were so close to being able to affect the bizarre state of antitrust in technology, and now we’re right back to where we began; on the outside, looking in.
The court case has Epic Games taking aim at Apple for it’s ‘unfair exclusivity’ of Apple’s iOS platform where it takes the standard 30% cut from applications and in-app purchases. That Epic Games, who have bought the exclusivity of numerous titles to encourage literally anyone to download the Epic Games Store on PC in a move that is widely regarded as one of the most anti-consumer notions on PC, is upset that Apple has exclusivity, remains a brilliant tongue-in-cheek bit of humor that very few manage to understand.
Yet this court decision could very-well have far-reaching implications in the future for consoles and the PC; Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has continued to show understanding of nuance and competition thus far throughout the proceedings.
Apple: ‘Fortnite’ interest fading, Epic Games using lawsuit for hype https://t.co/I54MkxK7NQ
— Eliz – CEO Techfans.co.uk (@Techfans3) September 29, 2020
It was presumed that Epic Games was concerned about the court case going to a public jury due to their actions when Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers proposed the movement; in any case, both sides have agreed to forgo a jury lest the public gets a say in corporate-produced walled-gardens.
In the interim, while the court case rages onwards (and will until 2021 when the case continues), many fans have requested Epic abide by the agreement set for from Apple (towards all developers) regarding the handling of in-app purchases. Apple themselves have stated that if Epic Games resumes operation in a manner that abides by the ToS, they will immediately make the application available again for play.
Apple told Epic that if they remove Epic's payment system they will put Fortnite back on the app store, even while the trial continues. Should epic listen to this for now so players on IOS can play again? #Fortnite
— Happy Power (@HappyPower) September 28, 2020
Epic Games has not acquiesced to the proposal, frustrating many players of Fortnite that simply want to log in and play with their friends. In doing so, however, Epic Games would lose the singular advantage that they currently have, and have been readily banking on since the beginning of the battle.
The weaponization of their fans as they continue to point towards Apple as the ‘bad guy’ that doesn’t want to let kids play Fortnite.
In spite of what various mouth-pieces for Epic Games have stated, the weaponization and disdain they are attempting to cultivate in fans is a monumental piece that they clearly hope will result in additional bargaining power for the development studio.
Here’s hoping that Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers continues to slap it down.