Apple is in a legal fight with Epic Games in which the game maker says Apple’s 30% commission on app sales is a violation of antitrust law and is anticompetitive behavior. Upcoming testimony threatens to reveal publicly for the first time just exactly how the App Store operates and the nature of its revenue, something Apple has kept under locked and keep so far. The E.U. has begun looking into the App Store, also wondering if it is a monopoly.
In a statement, Apple said it does not object to the testimony and evidence being revealed, but that it wants the court to close the doors to the public and media during that portion of the trail and is arguing that investors will not get a clear understanding and can make poor investment decisions since the information could be taken out of contest. Epic games says that’s not even close to the truth, and that Apple just doesn’t want the public to know how locked in they really are, how difficult it is to leave to another tech-ecosystem because of specific Apple tricks and how the revenue helps to keep you stuck with Apple. Epic is also pursuing similar cases against Apple in the U.K. and Australia as well.
“As a result of Apple’s general philosophy that its products and services are part of an ecosystem, Apple views the value of all of its products and services as a whole,” Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said in a court filing. “Thus, Apple’s business is not structured that way that allows a person to push a button and obtain an App Store” profit and loss statement.
Epic wrote in court filings, in part, what the late Steve Jobs said in 2008, “we don’t intend t make money off the App Store. Sealing the courtroom would conceal from the public record facts and evidence showing whether Apple lived up to Mr. Jobs’s promise, or instead earns a persistent and extraordinary profit margin from its App Store commissions.”
Epic is joined by Microsoft, and several other large and small tech companies who all have long complained the the App Store is a monopoly because developers have no other way to get their product onto customer’s iPhones since Apple locks people out of being able to get apps outside of its App Store. This creates a situation where developers have no alternative but to pay Apple whatever Apple is demanding or the developer will have no business at all.