Today I’ll tell you about apple’s monopoly history and how Fortnite takes on apple there’s a legal war brewing in big tech it’s epic games. V.S apple but before we get to the story epic is a video game developer. They also make cool software think unreal engine a platform where other creators can make their videogames. And build something even cooler led by Tim Sweeney the company has always been a poster child. Within the gaming community but they’ve catapulted into mainstream media. Largely thanks to the popular battle royale game Fortnite. If you haven’t heard of Fortnite we urge you to find a 20-year-old. And ask them to give you a quick rundown.
I assure they’ll do better than us in any case Fortnite is a money-minding machine in 2019. Fortnite brought in revenues of 1.8 billion players can buy costumes virtual dance moves. And pre-released game modes inside the app using special in-game currency called v-bucks. You can earn free v-bucks by playing the game or you could choose to buy them instantly by paying actual money. And if you’re on a mobile phone using android or IOS all in-game purchases routed through the app stores.
Meaning apple and google can collect close to 30 on all payments made to epic games. And Fortnite epic complied with these rules for the most part until August 13th. When they offered users an alternate payment option within the game by offering a discount.
Net all hell broke loose apple kicked Fortnite off the app store for violating its guidelines. And released a statement lamenting epic games decision google followed soon after. Epic, in turn, filed a lawsuit seeking a court order to dismantle apple’s commission structure.
And offer users the choice to install software on I phones outside the confines of the app store. They also filed a suit against google but the case here is a bit different considering google offers. Users the choice to download apps from third-party sources and users can bypass paying a 30 fee. So long as they aren’t doing it on place apple but doesn’t offer this choice which sort of makes the whole case. A bit more compelling but why can’t apple just force game developers to pay up it’s there. Digital storefront if somebody wants to market their service. It’s only fair that they pay their dues if they don’t want to pay up.
They can simply move off apple sell your game on non-apple devices what’s the fuss well the problem. Here is that when you’re operating at such a massive scale things can get a bit tricky. The laws are pretty clear monopolies can exist commerce. And trade built on a foundation that fosters competition. If a company gets too big and begins to exercise excessive control. Over any single market that’s a no-go, it’s explicitly stated in U.S law dash every person. Who shall monopolize or attempt to monopolize or combine or conspire with any other person…Any part of the trade or commerce among the several states or with foreign nations. Shall deem guilty of a felony section 2 of the 1890 Sherman antitrust act.
The key question here but is what defines a single market apple has a simple contention. They don’t have a dominant market share in any market they do business in. And as an article in Reuters points out the defence is factually accurate. I phones and Macs have much lower global market share than Android. And windows devices and apple executives often say that consumers can access. Whatever software they desire on those competing devices or via the web browser on I phone.
So technically they aren’t monopolizing the market apps for smartphones. That is but what if the definition changes a bit what if the market here defined as apps. For I phones then it becomes an entirely different proposition apple has a monopoly here. And they can do as they please consider Spotify’s case against apple back in 2014 Spotify.
Raised its monthly subscription rate to 13 from 10 in a bid to make up for apple’s payment fee… Then exactly one year later apple introduces its streaming service. Apple music pricing it at ten dollars a month.