On Friday, a federal judge blasted Apple CEO Tim Cook for discussing whether the iPhone maker’s App Store’s profits from developers such as Fortnite maker Epic Games were reasonable. And whether Apple faces any real competitive pressure to change its approach.
Cook gave more than two hours of testimony in Oakland, California, as the last witness in Apple’s defense against Epic. The accusation alleges that the iPhone maker’s App Store control and commissions constitute an illegally abused monopoly by Apple.
App makers including the music service Spotify, European regulators and American politicians question whether the company that once urged the world to “think differently” has now become too big and too powerful.
At the end of the testimony, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers questioned Cook, urging him to admit that game developers received the most revenue from the App Store and helped subsidize other apps in the store that did not have to pay commissions.
Gonzalez said that Apple’s profit from game developers “seems to be disproportionate.”
She said: “I understand Apple’s idea of attracting customers in a certain way.” “But after the first interaction, developers have been attracting game users. In my opinion, Apple is just profiting from it.”
Cook disagreed. He said: “Free apps bring a lot of benefits. Only those who really profit from the main way pay a 30% commission.”
Epic tried to prove that Apple’s iPhone is a profitable platform to lock in users, and pointed out that Epic’s claims that Apple’s internal documents show that the App Store’s operating profit margin is 78%. Cook said the document does not reflect the full cost of running the App Store.
The testimony constituted Cook’s most extensive public statement on the App Store, which consolidated Apple’s $53.8 billion (approximately Rs 3,92,250 crore) services business.
Gonzalez Rogers also cited a survey that found that 39% of software developers were dissatisfied with Apple’s application distribution service.
Gonzalez Rogers said: “In my opinion, you don’t seem to have the pressure or competition to change the way you behave with developers.
Cook replied, “We turned this place upside down” in response to the developer’s complaint, but later admitted that he did not receive regular reports on the developer’s feelings about working with Apple.
At the beginning of the three-week trial period, Gonzalez Rogers also asked the epic CEO Tim Sweeney a serious question about how to force Apple to do Changes will affect the entire software world. Sweeney said he has not considered this issue yet.
The maker of the online game “Fortnite” allows players to compete with each other in the last survivor’s animated battle royale. The company has launched a public relations and legal battle against Apple.
Epic mocked Apple’s iconic “1984” ad and argued in court that it only allowed the use of approved apps on one billion iPhone devices worldwide and forced developers to use Apple’s in-app payments System (charges up to 30% of sales commission), thus anti-competitive.
Apple is trying to convince Gonzalez Rogers that its rules for developers are designed to keep its customer information private and malware safe.
Cook said: “We focus on users and let customers do the right thing.” “Security is the basis for establishing privacy. Technology has the ability to absorb all kinds of data from people, and we hope to provide people with ways to avoid this. tool.”
Thomson Reuters 2021 ©
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