Apple vs. Epic Games: The iPhone maker loses but wins in an antitrust dispute decided by a federal judge

Image credit: MarketWatch

Apple against Epic Games: Apple appears to have suffered a huge setback in its legal battle with Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite.

Cupertino has been ordered to drastically alter the way it makes money from the App Store. The decision might cost Apple a sizable chunk of the $100 billion mobile game market. On Friday, a Federal Judge ordered Apple to allow mobile app makers to use third-party payment methods, granting Epic Games Inc’s request for an injunction. The court struggle lasted a year and ended, at least for the time being, with US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’ orders.

The Judge’s ruling comes at a time when Apple is under pressure from around the world to open up its App Store to competition. Apple now charges a 30% commission on all transactions performed through the App Store, and developers are required to use the App Store payment portal for any digital tokens sold on apps, according to Apple’s App Store policy. According to Bloomberg, the App Store generates over $20 billion in revenue each year, with a profit margin of over 75%.

Because Apple does not allow developers to utilize payment gateways outside of the App Store and levies a 30% fee on them, users will pay a higher price. As a result, the Judge determined that Cupertino was interfering with consumers’ ability to obtain lower prices, and thus was engaging in anticompetitive behaviour.

During the legal dispute, Apple went to great lengths to demonstrate that the reason it didn’t allow sideloading of programmes on the phone was to protect customers’ safety and privacy, which is true to some extent. Cupertino even put its prized Mac under the bus, claiming that sideloading software on the Mac made it more vulnerable than the company wanted, and that it did not want the same to happen with the iPhone. After a protracted battle, it appears that Apple’s storey of users’ privacy and device safety is paying off, as the corporation only received what appears to be a slap on the wrist.

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