Both Apple and Epic Games are well-renowned organizations that have been recognized by people worldwide. Currently, Apple is the world’s largest tech company with total revenue of $274.5 Billion in 2020 and in 2021 it went on to become the world’s most valuable company.
A lawsuit however was filed by Epic Games in 2020 against Apple. The case that stirred up in 2020 and ran through 2021 has finally gotten a verdict in September 2021.
Epic Games’ lawsuit
Fortnite is one of the most popular games of this generation. From consoles to PC and mobile, Fortnite has taken over the gaming industry by storm. Ever since the game arrived on the mobile platform, downloads have been off the charts.
This has played a role in obviously helping the App Store boost its revenue. Epic Games wanted to go ahead of Apple in this war of business and decided to make a few tweaks to the game before the App Store.
Epic Games added an external payment option to the game for the in-game currency, called VBucks. The organization also went on to make the buying of the in-game currency more accessible to people by making the external link cheaper than the Apple Payment method. It wasn’t just a small reduction, but a whopping 30% cheaper than Apple.
The external payment option majorly affected both Apple and Google. The very same day that Epic Games made this move, Apple decided to one-up them by removing Fortnite from the App Store and blocking Epic Games from being able to release any of their applications on an iOS platform.
This led to Epic Games bringing in an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and releasing an advert that copied Apple’s advert from 1984 that challenged IBM. This gave Epic Games a lot of success and led to a community supporting the fact that Epic Games was right in their actions. The ripple effects included a conversation about the monopoly Apple has in the smartphone industry.
The outcome of the battle
The case that began in May 2021 produced its final verdict in September this year. There were three major outcomes of the lawsuit.
First was clarifying what market Apple controls. Epic Games argued that Apple was a monopoly with no competition in the iOS system. Apple argued stating that they competed with platforms like Epic, Xbox, Nintendo and PlayStation as well and hence could not be a monopoly. The court did not support either of the statements and called the space a digital mobile gaming transaction market
The second major issue was anti-steering. Apple’s regulations about not allowing developers to include other payment options was declared anti-competitive and hence the court ruled against Apple. This led to Epic Games gaining the upper hand as Apple had violated the Unfair Competition Law.
The third major doubt that was clarified was whether Apple is a monopoly or not. The judge had a few words to say about this statement and she stated, “The court does not find that it is impossible, only that Epic Games failed in its burden to demonstrate Apple has is an illegal monopolist .”
In conclusion, Epic Games did lose the lawsuit to Apple. However, it does not mean that this issue will not spring up again. It only means that Epic Games failed to gather enough evidence to win this lawsuit against the world’s most valuable company.