Written by Stephen Nellis
Oakland, California. (Reuters) – The CEO of Epic Games, the creator of “Fort Knight”, testified on Monday that Apple Inc. introduced Epic’s own app payment system into the game last year knowing that it violates the rules of the App Store, but wanted to highlight that Apple now has total control over the world’s iPhone users. 1 billion.
“I wanted the world to see that Apple has full control over all software on iOS, and that users can use that control to deny access to applications,” said Tim Sweeney, behind a plexiglass layer in a federal court in Auckland, California. On the first day of the hopeless trial against Apple.
The lawsuit, which is expected to run for three weeks, focuses on two Apple practices that became the cornerstone of its business in a lawsuit filed last year in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Must use Apple’s in-app purchase method, which charges commissions of up to 30%.
Epic violated Apple’s rules in August when it introduced its own usage payment system on “Fortnight” to avoid Apple’s commissions. In response, Apple kicked Epic out of its App Store.
Apple has filed a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the iPhone maker of abusing its power over app developers through app store review rules and fee requirements that affect competition in the software market. Just as Apple’s practices were scrutinized by lawmakers and regulators in the United States and elsewhere, Epic also launched an aggressive public relations campaign to focus on its allegations.
In the opening arguments, Epic attorney Katherine Forrest, Swine & Moore put forward the gaming company’s argument that Apple has “brick by brick”, building its app store “in the wall garden” to separate fees from developers who want to access Apple 1. Billion iPhone users. Forrest argued that Apple has locked those users into its ecosystem with apps like iMessage, which allows Apple users to send messages to other devices, but has limited functionality when interacting with Android users.
Forrest argued before Judge Juan Gonzalez Rogers that “the most popular flower in the wall garden is the Venus flying machine.”
Apple has faced Epic charges by arguing its App Store rules, making consumers feel safe and secure in opening their wallets to unknown developers, and helping to create a larger marketplace that benefits all developers. Apple claims that Epic deliberately terminated its deals with Apple because the game maker wanted to ride for free on the iPhone maker’s platform.
While opening arguments for Apple, Paul’s lawyer Karen Dunn, Epic, asks Epic to force Apple to install third-party software on its phones outside the Apple Store, which already allows the Android operating system to “page load”.
“Epic is asking for government intervention to make a choice that consumers currently have,” Dunn told the court.
The courtroom was closed to the public, but Epic’s Sweeney and Apple App Store head Bill Schiller were a “corporate witness” to each side of the audience.
During his testimony, Sweeney said he pays Epic commissions to other operating system owners, such as the Sony Group Corp.’s PlayStation and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox, but explained that the hardware makers use the fees from developers as a subsidy for their hardware development.
Judge Gonzalez Rogers asked his first direct questions during Sweeney’s testimony as to whether Apple’s original iPhones of 2007 and 2008 were sophisticated enough to run Epic video games. Sweeney said they were not.
“So do you have to do anything for the iPhone to be sophisticated enough that Apple runs your software? How is it different than consoles? She asked.
Sweeney responded that the hardware upgrade was similar, but the two devices had different business models.
Sweeney and Schiller are expected to attend the full hearing, which will be witnessed in person by Apple CEO Tim Cook and other senior executives at both companies.
Epic does not anticipate monetary damages, but seeks a court order to hand over orders ending many of Apple’s practices.
(Edited by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco and Nathan Frontino in Oakland, California. Editing by Lisa Schumacher and Matthew Louise)