Lawyers for Epic Games, the game producer (Fortnite), have filed an antitrust case against Apple, which makes iPhones, saying that the company has transformed its online store into a “walled garden” surrounded by “flies” with the aim of detaining one billion iPhone users for developers who want Reach them.
The three-week trial in Oakland, California, is the culmination of a lawsuit filed by EPIC last year in the District Court of Northern California.
It revolves around two Apple practices that have become a cornerstone of its activity, the first of which is the obligation imposed by Apple to distribute all the third-party programs for the billion iPhone phones in the world through its online store and to oblige developers to use the in-app purchase system for Apple, which charges a 30 percent commission.
Epic broke Apple’s rules last year when it introduced its own in-app payment system in the game (Fortnite) to bypass Apple’s commissions. In response, Apple removed the company from its online store.
Epic has filed a lawsuit against Apple, alleging that the company is abusing its power against app developers with its online store rules and payment obligations that harm competition in the software market. It has also launched a fierce advertising campaign to draw attention to its allegations at a time when Apple’s practices are under scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators in the United States and other countries.
In opening arguments, attorney Catherine Forrest said Apple had turned its store into a “walled garden” intended to collect fees from developers who want to reach one billion iPhone users. She argued that Apple had kept these users inside its system with applications such as iMessage, which allows Apple users to send messages to other devices but imposes message restrictions on Android phones.
“The predominant flower in the walled garden is the throttle of flies,” Forrest told Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, presiding over the trial.
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