Earlier it was reported that Apple submitted a 500-page filing to the court ahead of the impending legal battle against Epic Games, alleging that Epic had planned the antitrust lawsuit months in advance in order to draw attention to Fortnite.
Today, publications were filed with the court by Epic Games and Apple. The publications show that Epic is accusing Apple of manipulating app security as a “pretext” for its commission. The company also accused Apple of enabling fraud by app users.
Epic Games accuses Apple of using its security protocols as a pretext for its commission
For the antitrust lawsuit between the two companies, both had to submit Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. Each side presents the facts it considers to be relevant to the case. Disclosure of documents follows after this, in which representatives from each side get to question witnesses from the other side.
Epic argues that iOS is one of the major markets out there, and it consists of many customers who can only be reached through this platform. The company says that the Cupertino tech giant has gone to great lengths to make sure that this remains the case. Epic also says that when Apple puts itself in between developers and consumers, then the experience is bad for both sides if a problem takes place in an app.
If the transaction raises any issue such as a payment dispute, a request for a refund, etc., both the developer and the user must rely on Apple to communicate with the user and resolve the issue. In Epic’s own experience, the disconnect between customer service and transaction servicing, and between Epic and its own customers over in-app transactions, has led to confusion and complaints from customers, who contact Epic hoping to rectify disputes over payments—and blame Epic for sending them to Apple about a transaction users rightfully view as a transaction between them and Epic.
What Epic means is that consumers can complain to the source, Apple, about their IAP content not working. But, Apple has no proper way to verify this claim, so the company takes the consumer’s word and refunds them. Since this process is not handled by the developer but by Apple, there is no way for a developer to block access to the content. Meanwhile, consumers can fraudulently ask for refunds while enjoying full access.
The counter-argument from Apple was it vets app to ensure their functionality, safety, and security. This argument has already come under heavy fire from a developer, which points to the number of scam apps that go undetected by Apple despite major red flags. Epic also says that Apple allows direct app sales on the Mac, making the point that there is no particular need for the tech giant to control the App Store in the name of keeping devices safe.
Apple and Epic’s bench trial will begin on May 3. A judge will finally decide whether Epic Games will be permitted to bypass the iOS App Store commission rate and push a direct payment method for its Fortnite app or if Apple can maintain the payment structure of its App Store.
- Senior Apple engineer compares App Store defenses against malicious actors to bringing a ‘butter knife in gunfight’
- Apple claims that Epic Games’ lawsuit was planned months in advance to revive interest in Fortnite
- U.S. iPhone users spent an average of $138 on the App Store in 2020, number expected to grow to $180 in 2021
- Apple is rejecting App Store updates that do not follow App Tracking Transparency rules
- Tim Cook talks about Epic Games, App Store commissions, and Prime Video’s 15% cut