Apple’s Tim Cook to defend App Store in Reuters lawsuit with Fortnite maker

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Apple CEO Tim Cook testifies remotely via video conference during a hearing of the United States House Judicial Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law on “Online Platforms and market power “in this screenshot taken from video as a comm

By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) – Apple Inc CEO (NASDAQ 🙂 On Friday, Tim Cook will take the witness stand to defend the App Store, a booming part of the iPhone maker’s business that the iPhone maker says “Fortnite”, Epic Games is a monopoly that Apple abuses.

Cook is expected to spend more than two hours making what will likely be his most comprehensive public remarks on the business of the App Store, which bases Apple’s services business at $ 53.8 billion. dollars.

Epic has run a public relations and legal campaign, claiming that Apple is acting anti-competitive by only allowing apps it approves on the world’s billion iPhones and forcing developers to use the payment system. Apple’s integrated system, which charges commissions of up to 30% on sales. .

The antitrust lawsuit at a federal courthouse in Oakland, Calif., Comes as Apple faces a chorus of criticism from app makers, including the music service Spotify (NYSE 🙂 American politicians who say America’s most valuable public company is trying to crush petty competition. .

The creator of “Fortnite”, which pits players against each other in a heated “Battle Royale” fight until the last survivor, is led by CEO Tim Sweeney, who reveled in the public opportunity to s’ attack at Apple.

Sweeney started the trial as Epic’s first witness, using his time on the stand to argue that “Fortnite” has become a place for players to congregate in a virtual world he calls the “metaverse” and that ‘Apple unfairly demands disproportionate cut in profits to provide straightforward payment processing technology

Cook answered a handful of questions on the company’s App Store when he testified before U.S. lawmakers last year, but he has remained mostly silent as lawmakers toast the heads of Alphabet (NASDAQ: ) Inc, Google and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ :).

Apple’s attorneys said they plan to ask him to testify on Apple’s corporate values, the creation of the App Store, and Apple’s competitive landscape. Throughout the trial, Apple has sought to persuade Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers (NYSE 🙂 that the rules it imposes on developers are aimed at keeping its customers’ information private and safe from malware.

But Epic’s legal team put other Apple executives under pressure during the three-week trial. In cross-examination Thursday, Apple’s chief software officer Craig Federighi criticized one of Epic’s attorneys for not allowing Federighi to explain the technical details of why Apple does not use automated tools to search for offensive content. Judge Gonzalez Rogers stepped in to tell Federighi he would have to wait for an explanation later when Apple lawyers resumed questions.

Competition authorities in several countries have opened investigations into the company, including a case in the European Union regarding Apple’s treatment of Spotify.

In the United States, lawmakers like Senator Amy Klobuchar considering new antitrust laws are likely to comb through the records generated in the Epic case.

“This case has always been part of a larger narrative rather than something that will decide the problem on its own,” said John Bergmayer, chief legal officer for consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge.

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