U.S. court, why did they think “App Store” wasn’t exclusive?
Apple won a meaningful victory in the App Store antitrust lawsuit against Epic Games.
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the Northern District Court of California, USA, ruled in favor of Apple in the first ruling of an antitrust lawsuit between Apple and Epic on the 10th (local time).
Apple was the only part of its defeat in Apple’s ruling to allow links to external payments as well as in-app payments. In particular, Apple succeeded in obtaining a ruling that App Store did not violate federal and state antitrust laws.
The ruling was a great help for Apple, which has been criticized for interfering with various competitions in the app store.
In fact, Apple controls apps in the app store with strict standards from reviews to payments and exit.
Despite this situation, how could Apple get a ruling that it was “not a monopoly”? The secret lies in ‘market regulations’.
When Apple’s App Store was regarded as an “independent market,” there was much room for monopoly action to be recognized. In fact, Epic made a lot of effort to highlight this point. Apple, on the other hand, argued that the App Store is part of a huge market.토토사이트
Judge Rogers refused to accept market regulations for both Apple and Epic. However, it was judged that it was not an exclusive business, considering that it took place in the “digital mobile game transaction” market.
In the course of the battle for monopoly of the App Store, Apple and Epic made great efforts to define the “related market” in their favor.
Epic argued that Apple’s iOS operating system is a key part of the lawsuit-related market. Specifically, it emphasized that the iOS operating system is a front market and the distribution of iOS apps is a rear market.
Epic argued that it should be viewed as an independent market because Apple is implementing a closure policy and the cost of switching to Android, a competitive OS, is enormous.
In response to the claim, Apple refuted the claim for conversion costs, saying, “The low rate of conversion from iOS to Android is due to Apple devices and services.”
On the other hand, Apple argued that it was the digital video market that became the issue of litigation. According to this claim, Apple’s market share is far from monopoly.
Judge Rogers refused to accept Apple’s claim.
According to the ruling, Judge Rogers divided the digital game market into four detailed areas.
First, mobile games.
Second, PC games.
Third, console game.
Fourth, cloud-based game streaming.
Among them, it was judged that “mobile game” was the issue of the lawsuit between Apple and Epic. It was seen as a battle over “digital mobile game transactions.”
Both Apple’s arguments that comprehensively defined the market and Epic’s criteria for interpreting the iOS platform as an independent market were not accepted.
The judge, who defined the market at issue, estimated how much Apple occupied.
Based on Apple’s internal data, Judge Rogers estimated that Apple’s mobile game market share is around 57%. However, this figure does not include Nintendo switches. Therefore, if this figure is included, Apple’s mobile game share will be lower.
Judge Rogers concluded that based on this criterion, Apple cannot be seen as a market-dominant operator.