Apple has stepped up the pressure in its lawsuit against Epic Games over its Fortnite game. The Cupertino company is seeking damages in the event that it succeeds in convincing the judge that it was in its right to ban Fortnite on more than 1.5 billion iPhones and iPads after Epic had activated a code that ‘he knew against the rules of the Apple app store.
In its application, Apple argued that it is not only the guarantor of its app store, but that it maintains its service through regular updates, new features and advertising. Apple points out that Epic made $ 500 million thanks to its applications on Apple devices and that it helped the publisher market Fortnite through its App Store and marketing support, including a billboard in Times Square (Manhattan, United States). Apple recalls that the App Store today has more than 27 million developers worldwide, 1 billion customers in 175 countries and 1.8 million apps.
The battle of commissions
But, “the App Store is also a business,” Apple argued. And although the giant does not say how much it costs it to operate its App Store, it has revealed that it has collected about 18% commission on the 140 billion dollars in revenue generated by the applications.
“Through the App Store, Apple serves as a platform that connects developers to the millions of iOS customers who rely on Apple to provide them with a secure environment to download applications to their Apple devices without compromising privacy, security or functionality.” , believes the company.
Epic Games argues that Apple is in a monopoly position, exercises undue control over its App Store and harms competition by not allowing alternative payment services on its platform.
The publisher of Fortnite filed a lawsuit against Apple on August 13 after it provoked the iPhone maker into intentionally breaking the rules of its App Store. Apple retaliated by banning Fortnite from its app store and threatening to revoke Epic’s developer accounts.
The decision could create a case law
Apple is only defending the 30% commission it takes on processing payments for apps in its App Store. And while that may seem high, Apple argues that this percentage is similar to what is practiced in this industry. But Epic Games refuses to agree to these terms and wants to be able to charge people directly through its app.
Apple’s power and Fortnite’s cultural influence means the judge’s ruling in this case will likely set the tone for relations between app developers and mobile device makers for years to come.
Over the past few years, Epic has used the billions of dollars it has earned from Fortnite to fund a new marketplace for online games to compete with Steam. The publisher also promised developers that it would take a 12% commission on games sold on its Epic Games Store, less than half of the 30% that Apple and other companies typically charge.
“Epic’s lawsuit is nothing more than a simple disagreement over money,” said Apple in its legal response. “Although Epic bills itself as a modern Robin des Boi company, in reality it is a multi-billion dollar company and just doesn’t want to pay anything for the enormous value it gets from the App Store. “
Apple argues that its commission percentage is fair without however raising the question of the reduction in fees that Epic applies for its own app store. Instead, Apple considers its App Store fees to be “similar or identical to the commission rates charged by other app stores and digital platforms, including Google Play, the Amazon Appstore, Steam, and Xbox.” .