Chronic. On Friday, September 10, Judge Yvonne González Rogers ended a more than a year old soap opera by resolving the dispute between Epic Games and Apple. IPhone maker praised for winning big: Northern California District Court rejected nine out of ten claims from popular game publisher Fortnite. However, the substance of the matter – the conditions of use of the “App Stores” – is far from exhausted. The battle will continue to regulate these app stores that allow users to install new software on their phones with, at the end of the day, a 15-30% commission on Apple, Google or Amazon transactions. This debate is justified, because the importance of “app stores”, already big, it will grow in the future.
Apple was pleased that the judge did not find the company’s monopoly on transactions in mobile games (such as virtual dollar purchases in the game) proven. Fortnite buy weapons or accessories). But this does not rule out that Apple’s dominant position can be demonstrated in future proceedings. It also ordered the iPhone maker to allow developers to offer users to buy with links or buttons to their own site. They thus avoid Apple’s payment system and the associated commission.
Above all, Epic has appealed. It claims the right to use its payment system directly in the application, as Apple does, and it claims the right to offer its own store. In addition, the inventor of this popular online fighting game has filed a similar complaint against Google, which equips Android phones with its own store, Google Play. It has the support of other developers, such as Tinder or Deezer, united in the Coalition for App Fairness.
Additionally, Apple will still have to defend its app store in a lawsuit filed by users gathered at class action In the U.S. And the United States Department of Justice is studying the possibility of opening an antitrust investigation..
In Europe, the Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, accused Apple on April 30, “Distort the competition” in the distribution of musical applications. According to the complaint filed by Spotify, the iPhone maker is promoting its own applications, such as Apple Music, which are exempt from commission. The British competition authority also opened an investigation in March. In France, advertisers and the association of start-ups France digitale have filed complaints with the Competition Authority and the National Commission for Informatics and Freedoms: according to them, Apple sells advertising in its store, without being subject to the rules imposed on other developers.
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