Silicon Valley’s highest-profile court case in a decade begins next week, and it could lead to a decision that would change the landscape for app developers, consumers and U.S. law.
When Apple Inc. AAPL, 1.19% and “Fortnite” maker Epic Games Inc. square off in federal court in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, this much is at stake: the livelihood of thousands of app developers and the very definition of antitrust law. The eyes of Washington, D.C., not just the San Francisco Bay Area, will be riveted as Epic attempts to make the case that Apple’s App Store rules unfairly leverage the tech giant’s dominance.
Familiar battle lines have hardened since Epic sued Apple in August and attempted to bypass Apple’s 30% commission fee via a server software update that skirted the App Store payments system. Apple countersued in September, and removed “Fortnite” from its App Store, preventing iPhone users from playing the popular game.