(Reuters) – Apple Inc said it plans to argue that it faces ample competition in the video game transaction market to defend against antitrust allegations from “Fortnite” maker Epic Games, the iPhone maker said Thursday.
Epic sued Apple last year in federal court in California, claiming the 15% to 30% commissions that Apple charges for the use of its in-app payment systems and Apple’s longstanding practice of controlling which apps can be installed on its devices. , corresponds to anti-competitive behavior. The dispute arose after Epic tried to implement its own payment system in the app in the popular “Fortnite”
The case is set to be heard in May in Oakland, California, by U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who will have to decide which view of a “market” is right to analyze Apple’s movements for signs of anti-competitive behavior.
Epic has framed its case around the idea that Apple’s iPhones with an installed base of more than 1 billion users represent their own distinct market for software developers. Epic has claimed that Apple has a monopoly on this market because it decides how users can install software on the devices, and says it abuses this power by forcing developers to deliver their software through the App Store, where developers are subject to fees for some transactions.
In an application that Apple planned to make on Thursday, the company rejected this view, saying that the right market to analyze the case is the market for video game transactions, which includes platforms such as Nintendo Co Ltd and Microsoft Corps Xbox game consoles, which also restrict software, who can run on their hardware and charge fees to developers.
Apple said it plans to argue that consumers have many choices about how to execute video game transactions, including purchasing virtual tokens from game developers on other platforms such as Windows PCs and using tokens on iPhones at no charge to the game developer.
Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Clip by Leslie Adler