For Microsoft, Apple must be stopped now or its monopolistic side will only get worse. A strong position that the firm behind Windows defends in a brief to support Epic in its lawsuit against Apple.
The case between Epic Games and Apple is far from over. Despite a “resounding victory” in its own words, the Cupertino company is not fully satisfied and has decided to appeal. Opposite, 9 of the 10 claims of the American studio were rejected and Epic Games also decided to appeal the decision, not without having obtained an important victory. American justice has indeed estimated that the Californian giant will no longer be able to impose on publishers to use its own payment system.
In concrete terms, each party can claim a half-hearted victory… and consider itself aggrieved. A new chapter has therefore opened and Epic Games can count on new allies in its battle. Microsoft, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and attorneys general from 35 U.S. states recently expressed their support for the creator of Fortnite with the United States Court of Appeals. As part of the trial, the Redmond firm and these various groups wrote briefs in amicus curiae. This term refers to a person or body not directly connected with the case, but who is invited to participate in order to provide information that may inform the court’s reasoning. The opportunity for Microsoft to present its point of view, and the American giant is not kind to its historical rival.
Strong words to challenge Apple’s hegemony
The firm behind Windows or Office is worried about Apple’s hegemony and does not mince words. In her memoir, she claims that the problems that could arise from the anti-competitive behavior of the Cupertino giant “go far beyond the game”. Microsoft explains that it wants to expose its own “unique – and balanced – perspective on the legal, economic, and technological issues involved in this case”. Like Apple, the company sells both hardware and software and ensures that it “has interest” to support competition law.
Microsoft also criticizes the first instance decision by denouncing “the extraordinary power of control” from Apple. The firm disputes the place of the App Store and the interconnection “meaningful” iOS devices. “Few companies, perhaps none since AT&T… at the height of its telephone monopoly, have exercised such control over such a wide range of economic activities”she adds.
Apple and Google, a duopoly that worries Microsoft
Strong words from the PC representative who is also worried about the closed operation of the App Store and the Apple brand. He explains : “Beyond app distribution and in-app payment solutions – adjacent markets [sont] directly involved in this case […] Apple offers mobile payments, music, movies and TV, advertising, games, health tracking, web browsing, messaging, video chat, news, cloud storage, e-books, smart home devices, wearables, and more ».
Microsoft uses strong words to denounce the practices of its enemy brother. The firm also seems to be worried about seeing the duopoly of Apple and Google on the smartphone market getting stronger by agreeing with Cupertino. “Google, the only other mobile operating system provider, could be empowered to do the same [avoir le champ libre pour tirer parti de son contrôle d’Android et limiter la concurrence]. The stakes are high for Microsoft and other companies that depend on antitrust laws to protect competition.”she explains.
Monopoly and abuse of dominant position, Microsoft masters the subject
In the history of computing, the firm of Bill Gates has regularly been accused of abusing its dominant position. Microsoft notably took advantage of the success of Windows to impose its Internet Explorer browser, before evolving in the shadow of Apple and Google. Absent from the mobile market after the failure of Windows Phone, the Redmond giant almost lost its place in the world of GAFA. In operation reconquest, Microsoft’s M is now very present and the giant’s appetite in the world of video games worries. With the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, some are already worried about a new monopoly. In the meantime, Microsoft – which had alreadyin 2020 – hopes to tip the scales in favor of his occasional ally. The two firms have found an enemy and common interests: Apple.