From the Wall Street Journal’s “Epic vs. Apple Trial Features Battle Over How to Define Digital Markets” posted Monday:
Epic says the App Store is a monopoly because Apple is the lone distributor of apps to more than one billion iPhones and controls the only payment system for digital services in those apps. That power, Epic says, lets Apple dictate anticompetitive commissions, including a slice as high as 30% of revenue and other terms that harm developers and increase prices. Epic has filed an analyst’s estimate that Apple’s operating margins for the store were as high as 80% in fiscal 2019, an estimate Apple says is wrong.
Apple offers a much broader view of the marketplace, one in which its App Store is one of many ways for Epic to distribute its games, including Sony GroupCorp.’s PlayStation, Google’s Android software, and personal computers, if the videogame maker doesn’t like Apple’s terms. In that wider market, Apple says it holds nothing close to monopoly power and is merely ensuring easy and safe use of apps for its customers…
“Market definition is Epic’s highest hurdle,” said Paul Swanson, a Denver-based antitrust lawyer at Holland & Hart LLP who is following the case.
My take: Perhaps. Epic also has to prove that it didn’t violate the terms of its App Store contract.