Epic Games against Apple. Australian court accepts jurisdiction

Epic Games vs. Apple

2021 looks like a not-so-good year for techs. Yesterday lis he spoke of the lawsuits of US prosecutors against Google and today we have to talk about a novelty in the legal battle of Epic Games against Apple.

It could be one of those board war games only that instead of dice and tokens it is played with writings and lawyers in all regions of the world.

Epic Games vs. Apple How did the story begin

It all started last year when to avoid the 30% commission demanded by Google and Apple Epic decided to include a payment option within Fornite that avoided the one in app stores.

Fornite, originally released in 2017, includes different independent game modes that share the same game engine and mechanics. Although it is originally free, it includes some paid features.

Apple and Google's response to Epic's decision was to withdraw Fortnite from their respective markets.s, claiming that the company had breached the contractual obligations assumed by participating in these app stores.

Epic in turn fought back by filing lawsuits against Apple and Google in the United States, accusing the tech giants of engaging in anti-competitive and monopolistic practices due to their 30% fee structures.
In the lawsuit, the company stated:

Apple has become what it once criticized: the giant that seeks to control markets, block competition and stifle innovation. Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched, and more pernicious than the monopolists of yesteryear. With a market capitalization of nearly $ 2 trillion, Apple's size and reach far exceeds that of any tech monopolist in history. "

Next Epic Games filed similar lawsuits in various jurisdictions including Australia, the EU and the UK - raising similar allegations.

A setback flavored with victory

The lawsuit in the UK was dismissed, but not because the court thought there were no monopolistic practices. According to the Court, although the British subsidiary provides research and development and other technical services to other divisions within Apple, that does not include support for technology or systems-related issues. In other words, in Her Majesty's territory it is not decided which applications enter or can remain in the application store.

However, it was not all bad for Epic as the judge considered that had it not been for that detail, the case could have been processed in the British courts.

Australia

In the Australian case a judge had dismissed the case based on a legal technicality known as "exclusive jurisdiction". Exclusive jurisdiction clauses prevent certain lawsuits from going ahead in an Australian court if the same case were being tried in another country.

In response to Epic's appeal request, three judges of the Federal Court considered that the first magistrate was wrong in granting the stay of the lawsuit, since These are key issues of public interest in relation to conduct carried out in an Australian submarket and it affects an Australian company that is not itself part of the exclusive jurisdiction clause. In addition, they stated that the public interest takes precedence over exclusive jurisdiction clauses.

The judges considered that limiting Epic Games to litigate this proceeding in the United States would deprive the company of a legitimate forensic advantage that could arise from litigating Australian law.

For its part, Apple is not sitting idly by.

The apple company filed a subpoena against Valve requesting information about the company's annual sales, its revenue, and the prices of the Steam store apps. Not that Valve is part of the market. Apple says it asks for this information because it claims it needs it to calculate market size and support its defense.

Valve agreed to submit documents regarding its revenue share, competition with Epic, Steam distribution contracts, and other aspects of its business. However, it did not provide information on prices, considering that it was confidential and difficult to collect.

Although it is premature I affirm, I think we can look forward to the end of monopoly app stores with some optimism.


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