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Technology

Apple, Epic in heated US court clash over app market

  • "Apple did not create a secure and integrated ecosystem to keep people out, it did that so it could invite developers in -- without compromising the privacy, reliability and quality consumers wanted," Dunn said.
04 May 2021

SAN FRANCISCO: Fortnite maker Epic Games and Apple clashed in court Monday at the opening of a blockbuster trial on the iPhone maker's App Store with big implications for the world of mobile tech, trading barbs over alleged monopolistic actions and what is best for consumers.

Epic attorney Katherine Forrest began the case, accusing Apple of turning its online marketplace into a monopoly "walled garden" that lures in developers and users and then squeezes money out of them.

Apple essentially planted a "flower in the walled garden (that) was turned into a Venus fly trap," the lawyer said during opening statements in California federal court, claiming the technology titan gets profits of as much as 78 percent from apps.

"The evidence will show unambiguously that Apple is a monopoly," she claimed.

Apple lawyer Karen Dunn fired back, telling the judge that Epic's suit is part of a "self-proclaimed war against mobile platform fees" that defies the law and the facts.

Apple is no more a monopoly than is a grocery market that sells a broad array of goods, competing with other shops, Dunn maintained, pointing out that people can play Epic games on platforms including consoles, personal computers and smartphones made by Apple rivals.

"Apple did not create a secure and integrated ecosystem to keep people out, it did that so it could invite developers in -- without compromising the privacy, reliability and quality consumers wanted," Dunn said.

If Epic prevails, Dunn said, "The result for consumers and developers will be: Less security. Less privacy. Less reliability. Lower quality. Less choice. All of the things the antitrust laws seek to protect."