The ruling after a California federal court hearing Monday might serve as an early test of âFortniteâ maker Epic Games Inc.âs claims that Apple Inc.âs App Store practices run afoul of antitrust law, legal analysts say.
Epic sued Apple and Alphabet Inc.âs Google last month after they yanked its shooter-survival game from the App Store and Google Play. The tech giants said Epic broke their rules by adding an unauthorized payment system to âFortniteâ that skirted their 30% commission on in-app purchases of digital goods.
The lawsuits are significant because Apple and Google operate the worldâs two largest app stores, which are critical gateways for how consumers access everything from entertainment to education and help drive billions of dollars in annual economic activity.
Epic claims that Appleâs App Store commission is excessive, that Apple unfairly prohibits developers from processing customer transactions themselves and that the tech giant abuses its control of the marketplace to stifle competition. Epicâs lawsuit says the tech giantâs practices violate the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, a law that bars monopolistic conduct.
Apple disputes Epicâs characterizations, saying that the developer can distribute its software through multiple channels and that charging a commission isnât illegal and covers expenses such as maintaining user privacy. Apple has also denied hurting rivals and said it wants apps that compete with its services to thrive.
Apple, Epic Games, Fortnite
World news – US – Hearing in â????Fortniteâ???? Makerâ????s Apple Lawsuit to Test Antitrust Claims