Apple Inc. began to make its case Monday morning in federal court against Epic Games Inc.
Apple Fellow Phil Schiller, a company executive who oversaw the marketing of its products for 30 years, outlined the history of the Apple App Store under questioning from Apple lawyer Richard Doren. Schiller is expected to offer a narrative on the success of the store, which is the center of Epic’s antitrust claims.
Schiller’s testimony kicked off Apple’s
side of the closely watched case, though Apple’s expert witnesses bookended those of Epic’s, as previously agreed in court.
Epic spent most of the previous two weeks presenting its case that Apple’s App Store has abused its market dominance to unfairly charge developers a 30% commission fee while suppressing rival apps. Apple’s heavy-handed tactics amount to antitrust behavior, Epic’s lawyers and witnesses asserted.
Apple, which has accused Epic of breach of contract and engaging in an elaborate corporate plot to extract additional revenue through lower commission fees, says there are plenty of digital platforms for developers to sell their wares. And several of them — Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
Sony Group Corp.
— charge similar commission fees.
The bench trial is expected to end May 24. Federal Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers requested that neither side’s closing argument exceed 90 minutes.