Epic Games battles Apple at antitrust trial

Attorneys for Epic Games - the creator of ‘Fortnite’ - on Monday argued in court that Apple has abused its power and turned its App Store into a "walled garden" meant to extract fees from developers who want to access some 1 billion iPhone users.

Monday saw the start of a three-week antitrust trial against Apple in an Oakland, California, court.

It’s the culmination of a lawsuit brought by Epic Games which centers on two of Apple’s practices: 1. That Apple requires virtually all third-party software for iPhones to be distributed through its App Store. And 2. Apple requires that developers use its store, which charges commissions of up to 30%.

The companies butted heads last year when Epic broke Apple’s rules by creating its own payment system within Fortnite to avoid App Store fees.

Apple kicked Epic off its App Store. Then, Epic sued.

Apple argues that its App Store rules have made consumers feel secure in opening up their wallets to unknown developers, helping create a massive market from which all developers have benefited.

It claims the Fortnite creator wanted a free ride.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney and App Store chief Phil Schiller are expected to attend the entire trial, where Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to testify, among other senior executives at both firms.

Epic is not seeking monetary damages but is asking the court to hand down orders that would end many of Apple's practices.