Apple CEO Tim Cook described the company’s ironclad control over its mobile app store as a way to keep things simple for customers while protecting them against security threats and privacy intrusions during Friday testimony denying allegations he has been running an illegal monopoly.
The rare courtroom appearance by one of the world’s best-known executives came during the closing phase of a three-week trial revolving an antitrust case brought by Epic Games, maker of the popular video game Fortnite.
Epic is trying to topple the so-called “walled garden” for iPhone and iPad apps that welcomes users and developers while locking out competition. Created by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs a year after the iPhone’s 2007 debut, the App Store has become a key revenue source for Apple, a money-making machine that helped power the company to a $57 billion profit in its last fiscal year.
Epic is trying to prove that the store has morphed into a price-gouging vehicle that not only reaps a 15 percent to 30 percent commission from in-app transactions, but blocks apps from offering other payment alternatives. That extends to just showing a link that would open a web page offering commission-free ways to pay for subscriptions,