Epic Games CEO slams expert witness claim ahead of Apple trial

“iOS already has a mechanism for users to install apps from the web – the Apple Enterprise Program”

What you need to know

  • Apple has filed a multitude of witness testimony for its upcoming trial with Epic Games.
  • It includes claims from an expert witness that Apple would have to redesign its hardware and software to facilitate alternative App Stores.
  • Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney slammed the claims as “baloney”.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has called the claims of an Apple expert witness “baloney” following the Cupertino company’s filing of its evidence ahead of its antitrust battle.

Apple expert witness filings submitted to the court Wednesday includes testimony from Professor Daniel L. Rubinfeld, PH.D. One section of a summary of the professor’s evidence regarding alternative app stores a court document states:

“The duty upon Apple is more than the usual duty to deal; it would include a duty to
redesign its hardware and software—both of which are covered by Apple’s intellectual
property—to make the iPhone interoperable with alternative app stores and with apps
that would not qualify under Apple’s app-review guidelines for distribution through
the App Store.”

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney blasted this claim as baloney, citing Apple’s own Enterprise Program as an existing mechanism for distributing apps outside of the iOS App Store:

Rubinfeld’s testimony summary highlights a few of the arguments we can expect Apple to make in defense of the iPhone and its App Store policies at the trial next month, here are a few snippets:

Apple’s design choice to not facilitate sideloading, i.e., to create a “walled garden,” was made before the first iPhone was sold and before Apple created the App Store, supporting my view that this design choice is procompetitive.
The vertical restraints that Epic challenges are crucially responsible for enabling the growth of the iOS ecosystem and the benefits that flow from it. They are procompetitive, prevent opportunistic behavior and free riding, and foster interbrand competition.

Consumers have the choice to select a mobile smartphone platform that takes a different approach than Apple. Many consumers exercise that option; many others choose Apple’s platform. Apple’s policies and rules for its App Store do nothing to dampen the viability of the alternative Android platform or deprive consumers of their option to choose that alternative platform. The but-for worlds of Dr. Evans and Professor Athey, on the other hand, would deprive all consumers of the option of choosing the platform where Apple takes responsibility for the safety, security, and privacy preservation of users.

The trial will begin on May 3.

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