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The three week Epic Games v. Apple trial wrapped up today, with a series of debates that were held in lieu of traditional closing arguments. The wrap up follows Apple CEO Tim Cook's testimony last week, which saw him grilled by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers on Apple's App Store policies.

fortnite_apple_featured.jpg

As outlined by Protocol, at the conclusion of the trial, Rogers aimed to get at the heart of the dispute and determine what remedies might ultimately be appropriate.

As she did earlier in the trial, Rogers hinted that she may be leaning toward something of a compromise with a ruling that would see Apple required to allow apps like Fortnite to direct users to make purchases on the web rather than in apps, something that's currently forbidden by the App Store rules.

In this scenario, Apple would be required to relax its "anti-steering" restrictions, but the rest of the iOS ecosystem would remain untouched and would function as normal. Apple's lawyers attempted to say that Apple's anti-steering rules are meant to improve transaction efficiency, but Cook's testimony undermined that argument. "Cook conceded that it's a method of being compensated for intellectual property," Rogers said.

Epic's lawyers argued that iOS should be opened up to competing app stores. Apple could still offer the security and privacy of the current App Store, but with third-party app stores, customers would have a choice. Epic's closing argument pointed toward the Mac as an example of what iOS should look like.

Apple's lawyers argued that consumer choice already exists because people can choose Android, and that the changes that Epic Games wants implemented would ruin the iPhone by making it less secure with apps that are impossible to curate or moderate. Epic wants Apple to "drop its gloves and stand in the middle of the arena and take what comes without any meaningful defense," Apple's lawyer said.

Rogers was not particularly convinced by Epic's argument because it would result in such a drastic change to the App Store. Epic Games could not demonstrate similar antitrust cases where the extreme kind of outcome it is asking for had been granted by a court.

At the conclusion of the trial, Judge Rogers said that she expects that her verdict will take quite some time, but she did not provide a concrete date. It could be several weeks before we hear about the Epic Games v. Apple trial again, and it's quite likely that any decision will be appealed, so this is a lawsuit that could carry on for months to come.

Article Link: Epic Games v. Apple Trial Wraps Up, But We Likely Won't Know the Outcome for Months
 

countryside

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2016
660
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This judge seems to be technologically impaired. You cannot force Apple to allow 3rd party payments!

My family business rents office space from 1 of 2 strip centers in our town. I agreed to the terms. I lease the space. We give them a percentage of our profits. If I do not want to give them a commission, I will LEAVE. BUT, they are in a GOOD LOCATION. They bring CUSTOMERS TO US!
 

cmaier

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Jul 25, 2007
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This judge seems to be technologically impaired. You cannot force Apple to allow 3rd party payments!

She today asked Epic’s attorney the key question - customers buy into the Apple ecosystem, knowing what that means. Doesn’t forcing them to behave like Android actually *eliminate* customer choice?

Epic’s attorney didn’t have much of an answer to that.
 

countryside

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2016
660
2,173
She today asked Epic’s attorney the key question - customers buy into the Apple ecosystem, knowing what that means. Doesn’t forcing them to behave like Android actually *eliminate* customer choice?
Fantastic question on her part, I was not aware of this. I think the article I read a few days ago on here may have been a bit skewed towards Apple (assuming she asked other questions of this caliber).
 

cmaier

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Jul 25, 2007
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Fantastic question on her part, I was not aware of this. I think the article I read a few days ago on here may have been a bit skewed towards Apple (assuming she asked other questions of this caliber).

I think she’ll probably force Apple to allow in-app notifications that the purchase can be made cheaper on a website or the like, but do nothing beyond that. Guess we will see.

But if that’s all she does, Apple has to be pretty happy with that.
 
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cmaier

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After years of litigation, the piled up court/lawyer fees will be in the hands of the consumer to pay.

Lawyers are the only ones that win here.

True. Just the lawyers.

Oh, and the client.

Just the lawyers and the client.

Oh, and the consumer.

So just the lawyers, the client and the consumer.

Oh, and the websites that publish articles on this.

So the lawyers, the client, the consumer, and the websites.
 

appleCakes

macrumors member
Jan 6, 2015
62
98
California, USA
Fantastic question on her part, I was not aware of this. I think the article I read a few days ago on here may have been a bit skewed towards Apple (assuming she asked other questions of this caliber).
Great question overall — nothing prevents Epic by the way to charge its iOS customers more to make up for the Apple premium. Customers will have a choice to go on different platforms at different price points. Point is Epic has not tried anything and is just crying foul.
 

nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
6,074
7,384
My prediction.

The ruling will force Apple to allow companies to embed a web link to purchase subscription (e.g., Netflix and Spotify) or consumables (e.g., Epic).

This is obviously still pretty tedious, so not a clear win for companies like Epic. Apple will likely retain most developers on their preferred implementation, as making it harder for consumers to buy your stuff is probably worse than having to pay 15-30% fee.
 

Homme

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2014
914
828
Sydney
Epics lawyers are still stupid if they think this trial will force Apple to Open the App Store for third party. That is up to Apple not Epic and especially not Sweeney

but it will be a long time before the Judge makes a decision so get prepared people

Great question overall — nothing prevents Epic by the way to charge its iOS customers more to make up for the Apple premium. Customers will have a choice to go on different platforms at different price points. Point is Epic has not tried anything and is just crying foul.

exactly. Epic could have gone the way of Spotify and put via the Fortnite app that purchases of vbucks and whatever they have are not via the iOS app and offer an alternative way like the web for a cheaper price like Spotify tells its iOS users via the app that you need to use the web to pay for a membership. Epic could have gone that way but nope, they didn’t try anything for fortnite users and instead planned this whole fiasco
 

cmaier

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Jul 25, 2007
25,405
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California
My prediction.

The ruling will force Apple to allow companies to embed a web link to purchase subscription (e.g., Netflix and Spotify) or consumables (e.g., Epic).

This is obviously still pretty tedious, so not a clear win for companies like Epic. Apple will likely retain most developers on their preferred implementation, as making it harder for consumers to buy your stuff is probably worse than having to pay 15-30% fee.

If so, Apple will probably create a new rule that, regardless of how you pay for your subscription, the developer has to allow you to cancel in the same central place as IAP purchases (and will introduce a new set of SDKs to allow that).

I’d be happy to buy subscriptions outside the App Store if every one of these apps wasn’t making it so hard to cancel.
 

Kierkegaarden

macrumors 68020
Dec 13, 2018
2,389
4,047
USA
I think she’ll probably force Apple to allow in-app notifications that the purchase can be made cheaper on a website or the like, but do nothing beyond that. Guess we will see.

But if that’s all she does, Apple has to be pretty happy with that.
How can a judge force a business to advertise that the goods being sold on their platform can be purchased cheaper elsewhere?

I can see an all-or-nothing scenario — only being able to purchase something on either the App Store or a third party website, and providing a link to that site.
 
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