After a long and controversial fight between each other, Epic Games and Apple will officially be going to trial next year on May 3rd 2021, according to a new court filing. The trial should bring an end to the fight between Epic and Apple, and could significantly affect digital storefronts and their policies in the future.
The new court filing also reveals that it will be a bench trial (meaning a trial by judge rather than a trial by jury), and a pre-trial hearing will take place on October 19th in order to “streamline trial issues” ahead of the case. Though it is currently uncertain whether the trial “will be conducted in person or virtually or some combination thereof” due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, a congressional investigation is currently underway apparently which has found Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google have been engaging in “anti-competitive, monopoly-style tactics” as they slowly become “corporate behemoths.” Whether you side with Epic or Apple in this specific case, it's very clear that this trial happening in May will have a significant effect on digital storefronts, and possibly megacorporations as a whole.
Microsoft has also revealed their support for Epic as they have outlined “10 app store principles to promote choice, fairness and innovation,” which includes new policies on fees, regulation, and distribution for apps on their Microsoft Store. Some of these policies even directly comment on the kinds of rules that got Epic in trouble in the first place with Apple’s App Store rules.
One such policy includes not forcing developers to “sell within its app anything it doesn’t want to sell,” which seems to comment on Epic’s original move which saw them bypassing Apple’s App Store fees by allowing customers to pay Epic Games directly for a cheaper price, which one judge last month said was "not honest".
What do you think? How do you feel about the Epic vs Apple debate? How will this trial affect storefronts in the future? And who do you think will win? Let us know!