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With Epic Case Approaching Apple Argues That The Wider Video Game Market is Apt To Analyse The Case

With Epic Case Approaching Apple Argues That The Wider Video Game Market is Apt To Analyse The Case
In a federal trial scheduled to begin May 3 in relation to a case filed by "Fortnite" maker Epic Games against Apple Inc, the iPhone maker plans to defend itself against the antitrust allegations brought against it by arguing that it abundant competition is faced by it in the market for video game transactions, the iPhone maker said on Thursday.  
The case in the federal court is related to Epic Games’ allegations that the 15 per cent to 30 per cent commissions that is charged by Apple for use of its in-app payment systems and the longstanding practice of the iPhone maker to exercise control over the apps that can be installed on their iPhones by users actually equates to anticompetitive behavior.
Preparing for the trial in the federal court Oakland, California, opposing position statements were filed by Epic Games and Apple with the court on Thursday.
In its filing in the court, Epic has argued that with more than 1 billion owners and users, iPhones actually have been able to create its own distinct and separate market for developers of software. In its argument, Epic Games has alleged that using the arm twisting tactics, Apple has also established monopoly power over that software development market on the iPhone ecosystem since it is the company that decides how users can install software on the devices. The Epic Games also alleged that Apple abuses that market dominating power by forcing developers to deliver their software through the App Store – where the company charges a fee from the developers on some transactions.
Those arguments were essentially rejected by Apple in it6s own court filing in which it said that the broader video game transaction field is the proper market – whose characteristics should be considered to analyse the case. The company argued that the broader video game transaction field contains platforms such as Nintendo Co Ltd and Microsoft Corp's Xbox gaming consoles – which are also known to limit the software that can run on their hardware while also charging fees from developers.
Apple has further argued that there are choices for consumers in conducting video game transactions, including making purchase of virtual tokens from game developers on other platforms such as Windows PCs and then making use of those tokens oh their iPhones and in that case no fees are charged from the software developers.
For US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, the issue to deliberate and decide on is which of the notions of a "market" is the correct one that should be used for analysing the policies and business rules of Apple to decide on whether its policies and moves amount to anticompetitive conduct.
Last year, Epic tried to implement its own in-app payment system in the popular "Fortnite" game which led Apple to ban the game form its App Store which culminated in the court case being filed by Epic Games. 

Christopher J. Mitchell

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