Apple accuses Epic of being a “stalking horse” for Microsoft”
Apple made $100 million on its cut of Fortnite in-app purchases over 30 months
In other words, Apple argues that Epic is doing Microsoft’s dirty work for it even though the case is about Apple’s removal of Epic’s popular Fortnite game from the App Store after Epic failed to adhere to Apple’s App Store rules. The rules demand that developers use only Apple’s platform to run in-app payments, giving Apple a 30% cut of the revenue.
Despite the fact that Epic is the plaintiff, Apple points out that of the ten witnesses presented by the game developer, five were associated with Microsoft. Apple also said that “Microsoft is using Epic as a proxy plaintiff in litigation that it refuses to prosecute in its own name.” Epic is trying to show that Apple’s 30% cut of in-app purchases is anticompetitive.
Closing Arguments from both sides could take place as soon as Monday
Besides Epic (and possibly Microsoft), other companies that have publicly challenged the competitiveness of the so-called 30% Apple Tax include music streamer Spotify and video streaming service Netflix. While Google also takes a similar cut of in-app purchases made in the Google Play Store, the fact that it allows Android users to sideload apps from third-party app stores makes it more competitive than the closed off App Store according to many.
Microsoft says that the testimony presented by Xbox’s Wright was involuntary, thoughtful, and forthright. The software giant added “That Apple does not like Ms. Wright’s testimony is clear. That Apple has no basis to challenge the substance of her testimony is equally clear.”
Weighing in on Wright’s testimony and Apple’s motion seeking the adverse credibility finding, Epic said that Apple was “not surprised” at the trial and it called Wright’s testimony “predictable.” Meanwhile, we could be coming to the end of the trial with closing arguments for both firms expected to take place this coming Monday. It is unknown how long the judge will take before rendering her decision.