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Judge Asks For Compromise In Epic vs. Apple Case

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers is searching for a compromise, as the war between Epic Games and Apple Inc rages on, suggesting that app developers let gamers know they have options outside the Apple app store.

This latest stoush revolves again around access to V-Bucks, a virtual currency used to purchase Fortnite upgrades. Apple requires its own payment system that takes 30 per cent from development, Epic attempted to bypass this, leading to its removal from the App Store. This policy also blocks developers from including messaging or links to steer gamers away from the store.

“What’s so bad about it anyway, for consumers to have choice?” Gonzalez Rogers posed.

Richard Schmalensee, an economist testifying as an expert witness for Apple noted the answer was simple: “revenue stream.”

“If the app vendor can say, if you press this button you can buy this for less, that means the App Store can’t collect its commission,” Schmalensee said, saying this results in “undercutting” the store.

“If Apple didn’t have these rules, would the problem be solved?” Rogers asked Epic’s economist, David Evans. According to Evans, it wouldn’t.

“That wouldn’t eliminate the market power Apple has here, but it would certainly diminish it,” he said, noting that for apps that don’t use their own payment systems it “would not be much of a solution at all.”

So, the battle rages on.

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