🦄 The Epic vs. Apple lawsuit is becoming “fascinating”

Here’s something you don’t see every day: A judge expressing pretty much the same thoughts as tech news junkies on Twitter. On Monday after hearing arguments in the Apple and Epic lawsuit Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said,”I think this is going to be a fascinating trial.”

We definitely agree! So what has been “fascinating” so far?

  • A quick reminder on the case: Epic, which makes Fortnite, created its own payment system to bypass the 30% commission charged by Apple’s app store. So Apple removed Epic from the store, and Epic filed suit.

  • Judge Gonzalez at first offered a compromise: She suggested Apple should let Epic return to the app store, with Epic dropping its new payment system and Apple placing its 30% commission in escrow while the litigation goes on. But Epic was not a fan of the idea.

An epic battle for Epic

Gonzalez has yet to make a ruling after Monday’s hearing. She did, however, describe Epic as dishonest for the way it implemented the payment system without notifying Apple.

  • And the judge also expressed skepticism that Apple’s commission was anti-competitive. “Walled gardens have existed for decades,” she said. “Nintendo has had a walled garden. Sony has had a walled garden. Microsoft has had a walled garden. What Apple’s doing is not much different... It’s hard to ignore the economics of the industry, which is what you’re asking me to do.”

The Verdict

Gonzalez may soon rule whether Epic can temporarily return to the app store, even with its payment system. But the larger question of Apple’s control over its app store won’t be answered until trial, which could start next July. And, again, that should be fascinating.