Fortnite maker girds for epic court clash with Apple

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In a court clash with potentially huge repercussions for the world of mobile tech, Fortnite maker Epic Games takes on Apple starting Monday aiming to break the grip of the iPhone maker on its online marketplace.

The case opening in federal court comes with Apple feeling pressure from a wide range of app makers over its tight control of the App Store, which critics say represents monopolistic behavior.

The two firms will be debating whether Apple has the right to set grounds rules, control payment systems and kick out apps from its marketplace that fail to comply.

Also at stake will be Apple’s slice of revenue from iPhone apps, as much as 30 percent.

Apple contends that its commission is the industry norm, and is fair compensation for giving developers a global storefront and keeping it secure.

Epic, which is seeking to return to the App Store without being forced to use Apple’s payment scheme, is not alone in its criticism.

The European Union on Friday formally accused Apple of unfairly squeezing out music streaming rivals based on a complaint brought by Sweden-based Spotify and others which claim the California group sets rules that favor its own Apple Music.

A recently formed Coalition for App Fairness, which includes both Spotify and Epic, have called for Apple to open up its marketplace, claiming its commission is a “tax” on rivals

– Off the platform –

Apple booted Fortnite from its online mobile marketplace last year after Epic released an update that dodged revenue sharing with the iPhone maker.

Apple does not allow users of its popular devices to download apps from anywhere but its App Store, and developers have to use Apple’s payment system which takes its cut of up to 30 percent — a percentage which goes down after the first year and is waived for those with limited revenues.

Due to the legal row, Fortnite fans using iPhones or other Apple devices no longer have access to the latest game updates.

– Judge to hear case –

After months of dueling legal filings, a trial before District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers is to begin with Epic laying out its case in opening remarks.

Apple is to counter with its position before witness testimony begins. The companies agreed to…

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