Tim Cook is all set to defend his firm for the first time as a witness stand in a trial. The Chief Executive Officer of Apple would be before a judge in Oakland, California under oath on Friday. He would be answering questions about Apple abusing market power.
What is the legal war
The legal war is between Apple and Epic Games. The tussle relates to the game ‘fortnite’ launched by Epic Games; Apple has been accused of being an illegal monopoly. Epic Games filed suit against Apple last summer after Apple removed its popular game ‘Fortnite’ from Apple’s App Store.
Tim Cook’s Apple states that it removed the game because Epic violated the terms of its developer agreement. Epic had implemented a payment system in the game that bypassed Apple’s App Store. Apple took down the App. In fact, users were given both options and they could pay directly or through Apple. The payment option through Apple costs more.
Epic contends that consumers should have more options for processing payments and that they should not be forced into paying ‘Apple tax.’
In essence, Apple holds power to charge commissions of up to 30 percent on all sales on the App Store but Epic Games tried to bypass this.
Keep this in mind that Apple is worth more than $2 trillion while Epic Games is worth about $30 billion largely due to to Fortnite’s success.
Who Else Is Involved?
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney says he launched the legal battle on behalf of all developers. Sweeney says some of the developers are too afraid of Apple retaliation to open up. Epic has named the legal war ‘Project Liberty’.
In its lawsuit, Epic seeks the judge to make Apple ‘take all necessary steps to cease unlawful conduct and restore competition’.
The in-person trial began in early May and Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has overseen approximately three weeks of hearings so far.
The Apple’s Stance
Apple says the commission is the industry standard and it uses the money for safeguarding the privacy and security of apps. In fact, Apple has been able to earn millions of dollars due to this commission and if halted or slashed, the company could face the music in terms of finances.
Cook has appeared for congressional hearings but this trial is a different one. The judge could order Apple to take actions.
The trial is expected to be concluded on Monday, May 24.