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Epic Games v. Apple going to a jury trial, but not before July 2021

Published: 11:48, 29 September 2020
Epic Games
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Regardless of the side that you might be taking in the legal battle between Epic Games and Apple, its importance is undeniable, which is why the case will be handled by a jury.

We are, after all, talking about a decision that will shape the entire iOS ecosystem and whose implications are so far-reaching that it's more likely we'll be witnessing, rather than anticipating them.

Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers didn't provide a ruling in Epic's request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against Apple, deciding that the entire case would not be done justice by any single judge. Therefore, it will go before a jury, but she thinks it will not be before July 2021. 

GamesBeat's lengthy report claims that Gonzales Rogers seemed quite sceptical of Epic's ability to prove their arguments against Apple, but ultimately steered clear of taking sides. According to Al Jazeera , she did so because the higher courts would be less likely to overturn the result. 

Gonzales Rogers said the trial will be fascinating, which seems to be the only certainty at the moment. She also said that it's common for plaintiffs to want her to define antitrust markets as narrowly as possible, while defendants want it defined as broadly as possible. 

"Walled gardens have existed for decades. Nintendo has had a walled garden. Sony has had a walled garden. Microsoft has had a walled garden. In this particular industry, what Apple is doing is not much different", she said.

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Apple has been trying to dismiss Epic's arguments that the in-app payments (IAP) are a separate product and should be open to competition, insisting that IAP has "never been offered as a separate product". 

Epic, on the other hand, argue that 54 per cent iOS users opting for Fortnite's direct payments prove it is, and that the demand for another payment system is undeniably there. "We eliminated Apple's ability to say there is no separate product", their lawyer said. “We showed that there is.

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