Court issues permanent injunction in Epic v. Apple case

Lakados

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Apple and Google won’t take that decision lying down. They will fight it and find a way to get that revenue back some how and it’s going to suck. It’s their store and they deserve to generate a profit from it, the % is obviously up for debate but I don’t think any consumers are going to be happy where this goes long term.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Good for epic, crap for the consumers.
Honestly curious, how is it bad for consumers?


I'm torn on this. There could be a minor improvement in pricing from store competition, but on the flip side of that it is going to result in the mobile landscape becoming yet another fragmented confusing mess, just like gaming is now.

If I wanted a game, I used to be able to go to Steam and buy it it. One stop shopping.

Before that, in the brick and mortar days, at the absolute worst, I had to stop by a couple of different stores, and once bought and installed the game was the same on my system either way, no forced launchers or other store apps.

Now depending on the game, I have to know which arbitrary online store has it as an exclusive, I have to have 17 damn launchers installed on my desktop, all probably trying to collect data on me, and some games, even if I buy them on Steam install their own launcher/store on first execution.

In gaming I haven't seen much of a price improvement over where things were when Steam was the only game in town, in fact things have become more expensive, with games now costing $60 on launch, and instead everything is just messy, fragmented and all over the place.

I have no problem with multiple stores competing with each other. Competition is usually a good thing and results in improvement in services and pricing. The problem is all the damn exclusives. It's getting to the point where you need a separate launcher/store application installed for every single publisher, and that is just insane.

I wish there were some rules. Something like:

- No exclusives. Every title must be made available by the publisher to be sold in every store that requests it at the same internal price. (The store can then choose how much of a markup to apply)

- The game may not install any launchers or stores of its own. It is the game and only the game.

- Games must be designed such that they can be transferred from store/launcher to another store/launcher an unlimited number of times after purchase if a buyer wants to shift their library.

This way people can either choose their favorite store and build their library in it, or chase to rhe best price for every title if they so choose. This would be real store competition resulting in the best one winning. Not this manipulative exclusive nonsense.

Honestly, the whole gaming experience has gone to shit since the store platforms fragmented, and now I expect the same of mobile.
 
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Zarathustra[H]

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If you think of it, the same argument Epic is using, that Apple is exercising a monopoly over software that runs on their devices can be used right back at them.

Epic is exercising a form of monopoly by only making their games available in their own store/launcher and only allowing their own microtransactions on their F2P games :p

I think it is foolish to somehow see this as a fight for user choice. It is a downright fight for control. Who gets the control, the creator of popular devices/platforms vs. the creator of popular software?

Either outcome has problems for the consumer, just different ones.
 
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MrGuvernment

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I mean, on one side Apple and Google had a monopoly on the market....So i could understand why this was judged how it was. But at the same time, it is Apple and Google OS / Store and devices (Google = Samsung / LG and everyone else) So if you do not want to use our store, too bad. But, then on that side Apple and Google would need to allow 3rd party store apps to be installed and used and changed from default? And would most users even know to look for other stores?

Now you get into trust issues, how long until people are crying to Apple and Google their phone got hacked, or their credit card charged for things they didnt buy, all because they follow someone external store link from an app they installed from Apple / Googles store...
 

DPI

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Big win for Epic
Eh, Apple won 90% of this case though, and has 90 days to appeal the last 10%. Epic won basically 0% since Fortnite is still banned for their TOS breach, and wouldn't be able to take advantage of the alternative payment ruling that would take effect in 90 days if Apple doesn't appeal (and they'll probably appeal).

Epic didn't get what they really wanted which was an EGS store on iOS, to prey on little kids, with purchase mechanics optimized for impulse buys.

As well, Epic Games will be required to pay Apple $12,167,719 as a result of damages for in-app purchases made outside the App Store system for Fortnite on iOS between August and October of 2020.
 
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DPI

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I mean, on one side Apple and Google had a monopoly on the market....So i could understand why this was judged how it was.
Except it wasn't judged that way. The judge stated "the court cannot ultimately conclude that Apple is a monopolist under either federal or state antitrust laws,” and "success is not illegal".
 
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Zarathustra[H]

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Except it wasn't judged that way. It was the opposite: the judge actually stated "but Apple is not a monopoly", and "success is not illegal"

Reading past the clickbaity, spun headlines is fundamental.

Damn, good call. I have to stop trusting other peoples summaries and read for myself. That is indeed the complete opposite of the impression we were given.
 

ChadD

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If you think of it, the same argument Epic is using, that Apple is exercising a monopoly over software that runs on their devices can be used right back at them.

Epic is exercising a form of monopoly by only making their games available in their own store/launcher and only allowing their own microtransactions on their F2P games :p

I think it is foolish to somehow see this as a fight for user choice. It is a downright fight for control. Who gets the control, the creator of popular devices/platforms vs. the creator of popular software?

Either outcome has problems for the consumer, just different ones.
Epic isn't selling a Operating system and a hardware platform... where you can't install another store never mind accept payments directly.
This isn't even that big a win for Epic... as I understand it they still can't go and make Epic Game store for iOS tomorrow.
 

GoodBoy

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Epic has all of that Fortnite money, which is all you need to win a big case.

Apple has the money too, but Epic has the Fortnite fans... maybe Apple saw a decline in market share of the primary age group and decided "fuck it" and let Epic have the win...
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Epic has all of that Fortnite money, which is all you need to win a big case.

Apple has the money too, but Epic has the Fortnite fans... maybe Apple saw a decline in market share of the primary age group and decided "fuck it" and let Epic have the win...

Well, as has been pointed out, who got the win is a lot less clear. The linked article has some spin to it.

If I had to guess, Apple has a much larger fanbase than Fortnite does, though among it's target audience I think Fortnite fans may be the more obsessed, which really says something.

As of 2021 Apple has annual revenues of $347.2B, a market cap of $2.6T and $61.7B in cash on hand.

The numbers for Epic games are less easy to come by, as they are privately held, but 2020 revenues were reportedly $5.1B. Nothing to scoff at at all, but we are talking about 1.4% of that of Apple.

In a "deepest pockets" type of legal fight, Apple would certainly have the upper hand, but these are both large companies with plenty of resources, and even though Epic is tiny compared to Apple, it is unlikely Apple could force them to spend so much on legal costs it harmed them substantially. That's really only a tactic that works on smaller players.
 

LukeTbk

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- No exclusives. Every title must be made available by the publisher to be sold in every store that requests it at the same internal price. (The store can then choose how much of a markup to apply)

Separating store with game publisher would have made thing so more comfortable (or at least forcing them to accept game to publish on them and vice versa), like they did with movie theater-movie distributor back in the days or syndication in tv.

The numbers of store became ridiculous (and you can add VR specific like Oculus has well) .

A common API for games to use cloud save games-save of setting and so on would have been nice.
 

DukenukemX

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Honestly curious, how is it bad for consumers?
Cause the more choices you have the lower the prices you pay. Consumers hate paying lower prices.
I'm torn on this. There could be a minor improvement in pricing from store competition, but on the flip side of that it is going to result in the mobile landscape becoming yet another fragmented confusing mess, just like gaming is now.
I'm pretty sure paying with a credit card won't get more fragmented with or without Apple/Google's payment system. It's just like visiting any website where you enter your payment information and it's done. Now minus Apple's 30% fee.
Now you get into trust issues, how long until people are crying to Apple and Google their phone got hacked, or their credit card charged for things they didnt buy, all because they follow someone external store link from an app they installed from Apple / Googles store...
You call up your credit card company and dispute the charges. People should be aware of this.
I think it is foolish to somehow see this as a fight for user choice. It is a downright fight for control. Who gets the control, the creator of popular devices/platforms vs. the creator of popular software?
I doubt Epic can control your device as well as Apple or Google. I'm sure Epic wants to release their own store but that's a good thing.
Either outcome has problems for the consumer, just different ones.
I don't see a problem here. When you want to run the game you just tap the icon and the game starts. It's not like Apple or Google has a convenient launcher like Steam where all your games are in one place. Both Apple and Google use confusing ass UI's that take me forever to find an app. If someone hands me their phones and I need to find an app, then it's going to take me a long time to find it. Apple users can have them in folders while Android users might have them on any of the home screens that exist. The only thing you may be doing is launching the Epic store over the Apple store to buy your game. Not a problem.
 

Armenius

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Lawyer summary. "90% victory for Apple." Epic is still banned from the app store.

1631306185950.png
 

cybereality

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It's definitely a win for chipping away at Apple's stranglehold. However, I do think security is a concern.

If every random app you download takes you to an external page to enter CC info, then this definitely weakens security.
 

Lakados

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Cause the more choices you have the lower the prices you pay. Consumers hate paying lower prices.

I'm pretty sure paying with a credit card won't get more fragmented with or without Apple/Google's payment system. It's just like visiting any website where you enter your payment information and it's done. Now minus Apple's 30% fee.

You call up your credit card company and dispute the charges. People should be aware of this.

I doubt Epic can control your device as well as Apple or Google. I'm sure Epic wants to release their own store but that's a good thing.

I don't see a problem here. When you want to run the game you just tap the icon and the game starts. It's not like Apple or Google has a convenient launcher like Steam where all your games are in one place. Both Apple and Google use confusing ass UI's that take me forever to find an app. If someone hands me their phones and I need to find an app, then it's going to take me a long time to find it. Apple users can have them in folders while Android users might have them on any of the home screens that exist. The only thing you may be doing is launching the Epic store over the Apple store to buy your game. Not a problem.
Some of that would be great but it looks like most of that will not come to pass, it looks like the only thing Apple actually has to be compliant with the ruling is to allow links that would take them out of the app to a 3'rd party site where they could complete the purchase but they don't have to allow direct payments to be made directly in-app. This is something Apple has already allowed in Europe and Asia for a month or so as Apple got ahead of the ruling in Taiwan by changing their wording in their agreements pre-emptively. There is very likely now going to be others who take their shots at apple and they will slowly pick apart their hold on the app store and its ecosystem, the judge does state that 30% seems inflated but as EPYC's argument wasn't that the rate was too high, and instead, that there was a rate at all that part was outside the scope of her ruling.
 

Lakados

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It's definitely a win for chipping away at Apple's stranglehold. However, I do think security is a concern.

If every random app you download takes you to an external page to enter CC info, then this definitely weakens security.
It's also a PITA, most people won't do it out of pure convenience. EPYC's own numbers showed that while they had the link available to their own payment portal even with it being $3.00 less than the in-app link something like 90% of their users chose to pay $8.99 and not $5.99 to not leave the app.
 

DPI

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It's definitely a win for chipping away at Apple's stranglehold. However, I do think security is a concern.
Depends on the outcome of the inevitable appeal(s). A two trillion dollar corporation has some resources to ensure the ruling doesn't come to pass.

And even if 90 days passed without an appeal and app devs really were allowed to provide a button linking to an external payment processor, the ruling declared Apple is still entitled to a cut of the externally processed payment.

This entire courtroom exercise will have been a fun academic drama when considered in retrospect.
 
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Lakados

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Depends on the outcome of the inevitable appeal(s). A two trillion dollar corporation has some resources to ensure the ruling doesn't come to pass.

And even if 90 days passed without an appeal and app devs really were allowed to provide a button linking to an external payment processor, Apple would make it as miserable as possible, and probably even enact a 'distribution fee' that would just make it too expensive for any developer to bother.

This entire courtroom exercise will have been a fun academic drama when considered in retrospect.
I don't know if they will appeal that one, they already lost on that one point in Taiwan, France, and a few other countries, that feature is out of the bag now and I am not sure Apple's legal team can wrangle that one back in.
 

ChadD

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It's definitely a win for chipping away at Apple's stranglehold. However, I do think security is a concern.

If every random app you download takes you to an external page to enter CC info, then this definitely weakens security.
I'm sure VISA could argue the same for real life. I mean wouldn't every transaction be more secure if they where all processed by VISA and VISA alone. No more cash no more Mastercard or high interest shady store cards. Just give everyone the same VISA cash card and let VISA skim 30% off every transaction from retailers to ship to the isle of man for safe keeping. (I am sort of jesting lol)

I understand what people are saying about Apple being the only payment option being more secure. Just seems awfully convenient for the company skimming 30% off the top of every transaction.
 

Lakados

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I'm sure VISA could argue the same for real life. I mean wouldn't every transaction be more secure if they where all processed by VISA and VISA alone. No more cash no more Mastercard or high interest shady store cards. Just give everyone the same VISA cash card and let VISA skim 30% off every transaction from retailers to ship to the isle of man for safe keeping. (I am sort of jesting lol)

I understand what people are saying about Apple being the only payment option being more secure. Just seems awfully convenient for the company skimming 30% off the top of every transaction.
Visa takes 2.5% off the top before the payment processor gets their cut. Lots of middlemen in the way so from apples 30% they are probably paying out a solid 5% of that to their own payment processor. This is where Apple's attempt at becoming their own credit card company came in because they wanted to cut out that % they were having to pay. But ultimately failed to do so for a number of reasons we will likely never actually hear.
 

Gorankar

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What I appear to be seeing is, that in the end, Apple won pretty much completely. They have to allow third party in app purchases, but they are under no obligation to continue to keep any game on their platform if these devs don't give Apple whatever Apple thinks is their share of the take for those in app purchases. So, really, comply with what Apple wants, or get the boot. Then sue and maybe "win" but still not come out any better than you started. I don't see how Epic benefits at all.
Am I wrong, is that not what just happened here?

Disclaimer: I think both companies are trash. I do no business with Apple at all, and Epic is only good for on the house games, I buy nothing from them and, I don't play FTP or pay to win games. I don't have a horse in this game.
 

DPI

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They have to allow third party in app purchases,
Here's the kicker most people missed today: the ruling declared Apple is still entitled to a cut of externally processed payments. So what dev is going to bother, and what user is going to go outside of the established Apple payment flow they're familiar with? It's DOA even if Apple doesn't appeal in next 90 days.

Disclaimer: I think both companies are trash. I do no business with Apple at all, and Epic is only good for on the house games, I buy nothing from them and, I don't play FTP or pay to win games. I don't have a horse in this game.

Accurate. Hard to have sympathy for Tim Sweeney and Epic complaining about Apple's "walled garden", while at the same time trying to create his own walled garden and bribing game developers to not sell their games on other stores. You can bet Sweeney would have no mercy on Apple if the roles were reversed.
 
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clockdogg

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* In 90 days, assuming no appeal(s). Apple will appeal.



Accurate. Hard to have sympathy for Tim Sweeney and Epic whining about Apple's "walled garden", while at the same time he is literally trying to create his own walled garden and bribing game publishers and developers to not sell their games on other stores. You can be damn sure Sweeney wouldn't be giving Apple an inch if the roles were reversed.
Ah... come on... he needs our sympathy... suffering terribly from shorter wall syndrome.

;--)
 

cybereality

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What I appear to be seeing is, that in the end, Apple won pretty much completely.
Yes, Apple won, but not 100%.

The main thing Epic wanted was EGS official (and other stores like itch) on iOS, which was denied. This was probably Apple's greatest fear, so they won.

But, the court did say that Apple must allow 3rd party payment (e.g. eliminating the 30% cut on in-app purchases if using an external page), which is still a small win for Epic.

However, most smaller developers will probably still use Apple's payment processing because it is easier and also less friction for customers, resulting in higher sales.
 

emphy

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Apple and Google won’t take that decision lying down. They will fight it and find a way to get that revenue back some how and it’s going to suck. It’s their store and they deserve to generate a profit from it, the % is obviously up for debate but I don’t think any consumers are going to be happy where this goes long term.
It does not address the fundamental problem of the shop and the platform gatekeeper being in the same hands. There's a conflict of interests here that needs careful watching, and a mere limiting profits is not going to cut it.
 
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Lakados

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It does not address the fundamental problem of the shop and the platform gatekeeper being in the same hands. There's a conflict of interests here that needs careful watching, and a mere limiting profits is not going to cut it.
But that is a fundamental problem with all shops. You don’t get to go to Walmart and at checkout tell them your gonna Venmo them the money. Hell with Walmart the suppliers don’t even get to set their prices Walmart literally rolls up and says “we’re selling your product you need to sell it to us for X, and if you sell it less elsewhere we’ll drop you”

The problem software has is despite all the stores there’s no real competition between them. Sure they all offer timed sales during the off shopping seasons, but there is no daily competition for pricing on titles. You buy a game directly from the developer and it’s the same from steam or Epyc or where ever assuming it’s not an exclusive. And if it is exclusive than F us right. There’s no actual concept of shopping around you don’t go hey it’s $59.99 on steam but $54.99 at GoG. You either buy it full, wait for a big sale, or leave it until it’s free as a promotion for something else.
 

cybereality

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Well there is on the gray market for keys, it would be nice if there was a more official way to have that sort of competition.
 

Lakados

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Well there is on the gray market for keys, it would be nice if there was a more official way to have that sort of competition.
That grey market is fueled by people who got duped by scammers. And is a great way to get your account perma locked.
 

toast0

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That grey market is fueled by people who got duped by scammers. And is a great way to get your account perma locked.
That's probably most of it, but some of it is country level pricing arbitrage.
 

Delicieuxz

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I think the most people, including Tim Sweeney, are understating the significance of the injunction against Apple that will ensure developers can direct customers to alternate payment systems. I see that injunction as a very notable opening and advantage for all developers.

Major win for Epic Games: Apple has 90 days to open up app store payments

I guess I didn't follow the case that closely, because I had been under the impression that the one thing that EG did win was what they were after all along. I think that one thing is a huge win for all developers and will shift a significant amount of in-app purchases towards them and away from Apple.
 
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Delicieuxz

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I think there's far too much focus on the personal loss for EG, which is that they don't get Fortnite reinstated on the iOS app store, and not enough attention to how huge a win this is for all developers who aren't EG. Epic delivered a massive win for developers. They just might not get to partake in the benefits, themselves, and so count the suit as a loss for them.

Apple And Epic Both Lost Today - Apple stands to lose billions; Epic failed to #FreeFortnite


https://twitter.com/markgurman/status/1436443226857095169

"Epic is positioning this as a loss - but it is actually mostly a win for many developers. Ironic they are calling it a loss when they entered the trial saying they were doing this for the developer community, not for themselves."


https://twitter.com/markgurman/status/1436444335751393283

"Quite frankly, whole strategy is a total head scratcher. Epic PR should be positioning this as a win for themselves because they got a judge to make the biggest business model change to the App Store in its history. Instead of they are calling it a loss."
 

DPI

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But, the court did say that Apple must allow 3rd party payment (e.g. eliminating the 30% cut on in-app purchases if using an external page), which is still a small win for Epic.
It turns out the possibility of external payments didn't mean "pay Apple nothing". The 30% is tied to the App Store contract - agreed to when publishing an app - not the payment processing. That means Apple gets their cut no matter where payment processes.

"Under all models, Apple would be entitled to a commission or licensing fee, even if IAP was optional."
https://twitter.com/HoegLaw/status/1436395708110737423

In short, Epic wanted to pay nothing to have a presence on Apple's massive platform - to exist on the App Store for free while generating profit at zero cost or overhead. That was shot down. Quotes from the ruling

E--Oa8OWQAA5K9W.jpeg
E--OoQXWQAMh9az.jpeg
E--OpLZX0AMqDd0.jpeg
 
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