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Jake Simpson
So lets talk about this Epic vs Apple lawsuit, what it is, what it means, and implications. By all means share this. I've already seen friends be told by their larger companies "Do not comment on this on social media". Well, I work for myself, so I can comment! And I will.
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
So what does Epic want with this lawsuit? Well, at root, it's about "Principled Capitalism". Apple has the Appstore and holds it very close to it's chest. It wants to take 30% of any money flowing through apps on the store, and wants to continue that forever.
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
And as well they might. They have a market cap of $1.3T right now, one of the richest companies in the world. They have billions in the bank, and quite a lot of that comes from that 30% on the app store. Also, where they chose to manufacture (ie cheap china) affects that.
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
And for that, you get a supported, walled store. They curate, to ensure quality. They ensure apps work on the latest releases, they provide free development tools, they provide the actual hardware the distribution platform works on and they are doing constant upgrade work.
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
But it's worth pointing out that this 30% grab is selective. Netflix, for example, does not give them 30% of what they take from people to watch TV. There are other examples of this selectivity. But for the most part, Apple wants their 30% of everything they can get.
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
The Root of the Epic argument is "We want to have a store too, and have competition". Apple, for obvious reasons, doesn't want this. Why give money to Epic when they own the platform? Epic wants a level playing field, where they can undercut Apple in terms of what they take.
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
Epic currently takes 12% of the price of a game on it's store, vs the Apple 30% (which is the current standard. Google takes 30%, Amazon, Steam, all take 30%.) Their argument is "Apple is abusing a monopoly position to rake in large sums at the expense of developers"
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
Which, while true, is slightly dis-engenious, since Epic really just wants to compete. The whole "This is for the developers" is a nice PR cover. It's true, but it's not the root of why Epic is doing this.
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
But, the implications of this lawsuit are huge. Firstly, Epic isn't asking for damages. What does this mean? Well, it means that the lawsuit can't just be settled behind closed doors and gag orders issued. Because what Epic is asking for impacts pretty much everyone, it's public.
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
This means everyone gets to see what is going on. Effectively Epic is firing a class action lawsuit, only there's no class involved. We all get to see the arguments / counter arguments, and the end result. In turn, this means this is being argued in the court of public opinion.
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
And in that situation, although Apple can (and will) trot out all the "We own the platform, it's up to us what to charge for it", "No one else complains", "It costs money to curate and maintain the platform" arguments, the root one, of them being pretty greedy, is hard to refute.
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
You don't get to be one of the richest companies in the world by just earning enough to cover maintaining your platform. The very fact of their massive financial success goes to prove that they are taking way more than needed, way beyond even a healthy profit margin.
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
That they are doing everything they can, to everyone they can, except those companies who are too large to be told to get lost (e.g. Netflix) to maintain that leverage and profit amount basically proves the monopoly abuse charge. And that's played out in public.
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
Apple is in a very tough position right now. This is going to be a PR nightmare for them. But from their point of view, they aren't about to capitulate, unless forced to. Lets say they drop their revenue cut to 20%. That's a THIRD of their income stream gone. That's huge.
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
And it's not like they are going to be alone in this defense. Everyone else (with the exception of possible Valve, who don't tend to get involved in things like this) who takes 30% is going to be right there, filing Friends of the Court briefs in support of Apple.
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
You think Google wants to drop their 30% claim on Google Store revenues? Or Microsoft? Or Amazon (for their Kindle store?) The ruling on this is going to be considered precedence for impending class action lawsuits on those stores too.
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
Needless to say, this is gonna be really interesting to see what happens here. Epic clearly has a playbook they've worked out and will follow (Has ANY lawsuit like this had an ingame trailer before??) I gotta say, I wish them luck.
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Jake Simpson Aug 13
Replying to @JustJakeSimpson
Note - for full disclosure, I consider Tim Sweeney and others at Epic a good friend, and thus this whole thread needs to read with that in mind.
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