Epic v. Apple antitrust tests will be difficult. Experts from all over will provide consumer presentations as well as financial perspectives. Managers will be promoted in corporate practices and forced to disclose the emails they receive. Lawyers will look for their own meaning. But, in the end, case it has to come to a simple tricky question: What is the market?
His case, Epic Games, a company that plays blockbuster games like Four men, Accuses Apple of making its own iPhone and iPad games by demanding that all apps be downloaded through the App Store. Apple uses only those, according to the lawsuit, to extort large sums of money from developers — up to 30% off all costs — who have no choice but to use Apple’s payment method if they want to reach consumers. (Epic also issues Android-related complaints in a lawsuit against Google with no trial date.)
In defense, Apple has made a number of controversies, but more importantly: the App Store isn’t the only one. People can download games from a variety of sources, such as Android phones, game consoles, and computer devices. Epic can look to attract customers to the platform if they don’t like the way Apple works.
Resolving the dispute stems from the way Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who presides over the trial that began this week, decides to define the appropriate market. This is an important part of many loyalty-prevention cases, because to ensure that you are the only one, you need to show that there is a market that is controlled. If Rogers agrees to Apple’s market definition, then Apple will win. In a marketplace that includes Android, Xbox, and laptops, there is no way that Apple is the dominant player in game sharing. And if it doesn’t have the authority itself, other Epic statements don’t matter.
This means that Epic has to convince the judge that the market should be described as light as, iOS apps. Apple, of course, has a 100% share in the mobile app distribution market on its platform. (Owners have stolen their weapons in order to run illegal software, a method called “jailbreak,” but it’s a small fraction of users.) So if Epic succeeds in market interpretation, it only proves Apple’s privacy. This is the biggest legal problem that needs to be addressed.
It would seem absurd to say that one race can be counted as a whole market, but there is a potential for anti-conflict laws. In a major lawsuit in 1992, Kodak was accused of trying to force customers to repair their machines, and to suppress independent businesses that manufactured Kodak equipment. Kodak said anyone who doesn’t like it can stop buying Kodak machines. But the Supreme Court disagreed. In some cases, the Court said, “one type of thing can only be a market.” In this case, according to the customer, if someone had a copy of Kodak it did not matter that other products were on the market. Kodak created an “aftermarket” redesign. The main point was a so-called exchange: “the functions and components of Kodak equipment do not interact with the functions of other manufacturers and their components.”
Epic does the same thing about Apple: that the iPhone has made some apps later. In the next market, you can’t say that the iPhone game replaces the Android game, nor the Xbox download. Some legal experts doubt that this can be done. Paul Swanson, a Denver attorney, said Kodak allowed the third-party reconstruction market to grow for years before deciding to oppress his rivals, with Apple making the iPhone (and iPad) a walled garden from the beginning: Since the App Store was established in 2008 , a year since the iPhone was introduced, manufacturers have had to go through it and accept its offer before customers arrive. Courts tend to be ashamed to force companies to change their businesses.