Some thirty organizations and state representatives of the United States, among which is the technology company Microsoft, have presented a series of reports that support Epic Games in his current legal battle against Apple.
In order to demonstrate that Apple has a monopoly on the distribution and payments in applications of iOS, the so-called ‘amicus curiae’ have been presented, which are documents that provide data to the investigation, whose senders are not directly involved in said case.
In addition to Microsoft, among the signatories are attorney generals from different states of the country and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to defending privacy and civil liberties in the digital world.
These representatives have presented their common unsolicited opinion before the Court of Appeals, where the judge may or may not uphold said brief, to verify that the manufacturer of iPhone maintains a monopoly on its mobile app store.
“Apple’s conduct has harmed and is harming mobile application developers and millions of citizens”, is mentioned in this text, where the signatories point out that the company “continues to monopolize the distribution of applications and payment solutions within the app, stifling competition and racking up supra-competitive profits within the smartphone industry.
The signatories argue that the first section of the Sherman Antitrust Act, the first measure developed in the United States to limit monopolies, determines that companies do not have the power to agree on prices in order to harm others.
Likewise, in section 2 of this regulation it is indicated that a company that occupies a dominant position cannot take unilateral actions in order to create a monopoly, something that the manufacturer of Apple with by imposing unilateral contracts with the developers of applications available in the App Store.
“Paradoxically, companies with sufficient market power to impose contracts unilaterally would be protected from antitrust scrutiny, precisely the companies whose activities provide the greatest cause for concern for the antitrust system,” the attorneys general and other signatories of the document have pointed out.
It should be remembered that the dispute between Apple and the developer of Provided It began in 2020, when the latter introduced an alternative payment system to that of the US manufacturer’s application store.
With the implementation of this service, Apple stopped obtaining benefits in commissions, so it proceeded to the total deletion of Epic applications from its platform.
So far, Apple has not allowed Epic to return to its app store.s, although it is possible to access the video game through a beta version from your web browser, Safari.
In September 2021, the sentence on this legal battle was announced, where the judges ruled that both companies had their responsibilities. On the one hand, Epic Games was awarded the payment to Apple for breaking the contract with its application store and introducing a payment system in Fortnite.
In this case, the repair corresponds to the payment of 30% of the income obtained between August and October 2020 through its own payment gateway, Epic Direct Payment, to which is added 30% of the income it obtained. between November 1, 2020 and up to the date of this ruling.
On the other hand, the ruling indicates that Apple is “prohibited from preventing developers from including external links in their applications or other actions that lead to purchase mechanisms.” In this way, you must allow the existence of alternative payment gateways to yours as an additional option in the applications.
After resolution, Epic Games and Apple decided to appeal the ruling to be reviewed by a higher court, a process that is still open. Changes to the App Store will have to wait for these appeals to end.