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I read Epic’s cases against Google and Apple. Here is what they contain and how they differ.

Gamingtodaynews1f - I read Epic's cases against Google and Apple. Here is what they contain and how they differ.
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Super TLDR: Apple only allows use of the App Store for app download on iOS and only allow use of their payment processor for any In app purchases. Apple levies a 30% "tax" on both. Bad for devs and users. Google tries to close off Android competition by negotiating with phone makers (Samsung, LG, etc) to have Google's Play Store and other Google apps like YouTube and Gmail come pre-installed with their phones. In both suits Epic wants to force both companies to open up their platforms to competition like Microsoft was forced to open up Windows back in the day by regulators.

Google case

Apple case

They are both 60 pages of relatively easy, but somewhat boring and repetitive reading. I am not a lawyer so I can't comment on the cases' merit. My own comments are marked in italics.

To keep it short I'm going to bullet point it:

  • Both suits are being done with the help of 2 of the largest law firms in the US. Epic is clearly prepared to spend a lot on this.

  • Both start with a short story about how the companies started up as small underdogs with noble intents (Google's motto "don't be evil", and Apple's crusade against IBM's computer monopoly with the 1984 ad). Then goes on to mention how both companies are now leaders in their industries.

  • In the Apple case Epic makes a clear case: Apple only allows users to purchase apps from their App Store, and make in app purchases with Apple's payment processor. This harms the user, but also the developer. Apple takes a 30% "tax" on both App Store purchases and any in app purchases. Apple does not allow developers to distribute apps via any other platform than the App Store or use any other payment processor for in app purchases than Apple's. In this way Epic claims that Apple maintains a monopoly on the iOS device family.

  • They compare that to how Mac's allow users and devs to distribute and download freely. Epic claims that the average fee for other payment platforms is 3% (1/10th of Apple's "tax").

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  • Back to Google. Epic claims that Google has been working for years to make Android more and more of a closed ecosystem. In their words: "Google has eliminated competition in the distribution of Android apps using myriad contractual and technical barriers".

  • It seems that Epic is a lot more vague with Google's case than with Apple's (some details come later on). Its a lot shorter on details of any kind. Note: Fortnite was initially not released on Android via the Play Store, Epic moved it there later. On Android you can actually download apps from other stores or directly from a website.

  • In both cases, Epic calls Fortnite a "global cultural phenomenon" and mentions its 350 million downloads.

  • Epic mentions the anti-trust suits that opened the Windows PC platform up for other developers. Epic compares that to how Android and iOS phones are now so essential to people's every day life that they, like the Windows PC, also must allow competition on their platforms.

  • Epic recalls how it tried to strike a deal with OnePlus to have the Epic Store preinstalled on their phones but Google blocked it. They then mention that Google themselves negotiates with all who wants to use Android to have their phones come preinstalled with Play Store and other Google apps like YouTube and Gmail.

  • Apparently if you want to advertise your app via a Google product like YouTube, you must then only sell that app via the Play Store.

  • LG told Epic that their contract with Google did not allow them to distribute apps via other platforms than Play Store.

  • If you try to install an app via a website download you will then have to change your phone settings and click through warnings. These apps also cannot update in the background.

  • Epic does not seek any payment for damages or similar in any of the cases. Epic claims to only be interested in an order to both companies to end their monopolistic practices.

Source: Original link


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