Apple v. Epic Games: Litigation Update

One such trial that has been going on over the past year has been between the electronics and consumer devices behemoth Apple and the much smaller Epic Games, creator of the extremely popular computer game Fortnite. Epic Games claims that Apple maintains a monopoly in its App Store, setting unfair prices for merchants, prioritizing its own games, and holding on to an unfair share of the profits.

Apple claims that there is no way that it has a monopoly over the sale of games; there are plenty of other marketplaces to buy games, Apple says, among them places such as Best Buy and Gamestop, not to mention other online marketplaces. Epic, on the other hand, has claimed that, for all intents and purposes, Apple’s App Store is essentially the only marketplace in town — it’s where almost all users go to buy computer games. So, even though there are other markets out there, Epic says, Apple essentially has a monopoly.

Expert witnesses are essential in monopoly litigation because only economics and finance professionals who understand market dynamics can truly determine whether or not something exists as a monopoly. There are many elements to monopolization in the market; monopolies drive prices up, drive competitors out of business, and stifle competition and the growth of new competitors.

Professionals from the computer game industry also play a key role as expert witnesses here; their knowledge of the computer game market, how much games costs to create and sell, and where consumers go to purchase new games are all crucial pieces of information that can help a court determine whether or not a monopoly exists. If there are plenty of other places that people are going to buy Fortnite other than the App Store, Apple likely doesn’t hold a monopoly.

Recently, a federal court in Australia, where Epic had sued Apple, ruled in favor of Epic. After the company provided a method for users to negate Apple’s 30 percent fee, Apple removed Fornite from the App Store. Apple has vowed to appeal the ruling and says that Epic should be held to its agreement to resolve disputes in California, where Apple believes the court system should be more favorable to its position.

Right now, antitrust experts in the United States anticipate a split decision in this case, coming in the late summer or fall. While most of them expect that Apple will not be found to hold a monopoly over the computer games market, they do believe that this 30 percent commission could be ruled an unfair business practice. OEN will continue to have updates available on this case so long as it continues.

Is your client locked in a business dispute? Representing a company accused of monopolism? Then call OEN today for help gathering together a team of experts that understands the market and finance and can put together the best possible case and help you and your client prevail in court.

Call Orion Expert Network directly at (617) 528–0055 or email us at info@orionexpertnetwork.com to get started on your expert witness search today.

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Orion Expert Network

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For all of your expert witness needs.

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