Microsoft has filed an amicus brief in support of Epic Games’ appeal against Apple, claiming that “possible antitrust implications extend far beyond gaming. “Interested parties have been sending supporting files to the court as Epic Games continues to pursue its appeal against the 2021 verdict that primarily benefited Apple. Notably, US attorneys general have been involved, but Microsoft has recently joined the Epic Games camp.
Microsoft’s amicus brief, which may be found below, offers its “unique – and balanced – viewpoint on the legal, economic, and technological concerns this case raises.” Microsoft argues it “has an interest” in supporting antitrust law since, like Apple, it sells both hardware and software.
Microsoft joins Epic Games in questioning claimed flaws in the original trial judge’s conclusions, citing Apple’s “unique gatekeeper power.”
According to Microsoft, “online commerce and interpersonal connection funnels significantly, and sometimes exclusively, through iOS devices.” “Few businesses have controlled the pipe through which such a vast range of economic activity runs, possibly none since AT&T… at the height of its telephone monopoly.”
Microsoft discusses what else it views as a “enormous variety of economic activity” to support its assertion that the Epic Games vs Apple judgement has “possible antitrust implications [that] go far beyond gaming.” “Apple offers mobile payments, music, movies and television, advertising, games, health tracking, online browsing, messaging, video chat, news, cloud storage, e-books, smart-home devices, wearables, and more besides,” according to Microsoft’s complaint.
If the original decision is affirmed, Microsoft contends that it will “protect Apple from meritorious antitrust inquiry and promote additional bad conduct.” The business goes on to say that “innovation will suffer” as a result of this. Aside from its well-documented antitrust difficulties with Internet Explorer, Microsoft also has complete control over its Xbox console ecosystem, much like Apple does with iOS app distribution. It also plans to buy Activision/Blizzard, a game developer and publisher, further dominating the gaming industry. In March, Apple is scheduled to start responding to the appeal.
According to Apple Insider, Apple’s response to the appeal will begin in March. Epic Games’ original case against Apple, filed in August 2020, was against Apple’s practices in the iOS App Store, which favored its own payment methods. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled in 2021 that Apple must enable developers to add external payment links and buttons.
Epic Games is the studio behind a number of genuinely epic games, like Fortnite, Rocket League, and Gears of War.