Lawyers for Apple Inc. and Epic Games Inc. on Monday began making their final arguments to a judge deciding whether the iPhone maker has an unfair monopoly that hurts third-party software developers.
They began debating a familiar topic: how to define the market at the center of the case. Epic would like U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers to consider the distribution of apps on iPhones as the market while Apple emphasized that there are many competing devices.
“The issue here is the monopoly that they have on the distribution of apps onto that platform,” Gary Bornstein, an Epic lawyer, said. “There is no path onto that platform, other than the one that they control that has led to decreased innovation and higher prices.”
Judge Gonzalez Rogers will rule on Epic’s claim that Apple has improperly prohibited third-party app stores on the iPhone and required app developers to use its in-app payment system that takes a commission of as much as 30%.
Apple has denied it is a monopoly, pointing to other ways Epic’s game “Fortnite” can be distributed. The company has said its rules around the app store ensure the safety and reliability of apps for users. Apple has argued its fees are similar to others and that Epic is merely trying to get out of paying its fair share.