Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal

CNBC reports on the legal case between Epic and Apple over royalties on game sales on the Apple Store. They say that Apple presented three emails from Tim Sweeney to the court they say show the Epic CEO requesting a "special deal," something that Sweeney previously denied. Tim tweets that Apple is being misleading, showing his copy of an email showing he said: "We hope that Apple will also make these options equally available to all iOS developers..." Here's word on how Apple characterized this to the court:

“On June 30, 2020, Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney wrote my colleagues and me an email asking for a ‘side letter’ from Apple that would create a special deal for only Epic that would fundamentally change the way in which Epic offers apps on Apple’s iOS platform,” former Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller wrote in a declaration. Schiller, whose title is now Fellow, runs Apple’s App Store.

Apple said Sweeney was asking permission for Epic to bypass in-app purchases and allow Fortnite players to pay it directly, as well as permission to launch a third-party app store for iPhones. Schiller said that Sweeney emailed him the morning that Fortnite changed its payment mechanism saying that it “will no longer adhere to Apple’s payment processing restrictions.”

“Because of restrictions imposed by Apple, Epic is unable to provide consumers with certain features in our iOS apps,” Sweeney wrote in the June 30 email titled “Consumer Choice & Competition” produced by Apple. It was sent to Apple CEO Tim Cook as well as Schiller and other top Apple executives.

“Apple would need to provide a side letter or alter its contracts and standards documents to remove such restrictions to allow Epic to provide a competing app store and competing payment processing option to iOS customers,” it continued, although the letter did note that “we hope that Apple will also make these options equally available to all iOS developers.”
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46.
 
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 25, 2020, 15:27
Verno
 
46.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 25, 2020, 15:27
Aug 25, 2020, 15:27
 Verno
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 23, 2020, 16:16:
That said, I didn't call you a Nazi supporter. I was pointing out a historical context: both of those (rather recent) regimes thrived on a close relationship between authoritarian governments and corporate conglomerates like the zaibatsu. It was through those relationships that both governments were able to ramp up their war machines and embark in misguided adventures resulting in the deaths of millions. Through mergers and acquisitions and other techniques, American business is steadily consolidating, and that's not a good thing.So this has much less to do with Sweeney, and more to do with the US government's lackadaisical approach to anti-trust and enforcing free markets in general, a problem which has been festering and getting worse for decades. And the reason is that these megacorps donate to both parties, and neither party wants to give up that sweet donation cash by going after these companies. Massive corporations that are able to fleece consumers and control the government are bad for both capitalism and democracy.

"Youre overreacting" "THATS WHAT THE NAZIS WOULD SAY!" But hey you're a good guy and debates get heated so fair enough.

As for keeping devices longer, welcome to the PC industry, where people keep desktops and laptops for years, but those hardware companies don't require vertically integrated walled garden software shops to prop up their hardware business. Quite the opposite: You can get an amazing gaming laptop for less than a new phone due to the robust competition in that market. Market pressures keep companies innovating and prices reasonable.

I'm not sure I agree with the laptop comment, phones serve many purposes in a very compact offering. My last phone was an extravagant $699 and I generally keep my phones for 2-3 years. Do I get $0.60-1.00 worth of daily value out of this amazing portable handheld communications device with the entire worlds knowledge at my finger tips? I'd say so. And the phone market has great offerings at every price level these days, even cheap phones are absolutely fantastic. Since you referenced the free market by the way, you keep leaving out the part where any company with the capital or partnerships can enter the phone marketplace with their own OS, app store and hardware offerings. I don't see how Google and Apple have prevented competitors from entering the marketplace with anti-competitive actions either like your Intel example. What is Apple doing to stop Intel from making a phone, enticing developers and users with attractive offers? What is Google doing to stop its partners from doing the same? What have they done other than have very robust and developed platforms that consumers desire? We've had numerous entrants come, go and come again but it's been largely their lack of execution which has kept users away, not anti-competitive actions by Apple and Google.

It seems like you inherently want the app stores to decouple from their parent platforms but for a variety of reasons I've noted already, I'm not sure how that's entirely possible. They are integrated to such a degree that just saying "oh well App Store is Company B now" ignores all of the technical and other regulatory underpinning, much of which is necessary to provide the product end users expect now. That's why I think decoupling isn't realistic, it's not that I "dont want competition" or something, its that its an inherently different product if its decoupled and I believe some of that would be to the detriment of customers. But I agree that "golly we're just too integrated" is too convenient an excuse for some of these greedy corps so that's why I think some sort of third party mediation in revenue splits is probably a good solution to suit all. Or open up the platform to other stores but have those stores kick up to the parent platform at a reasonable percentage. Zero is not reasonable.

As for user agency, there is none. Apple leveraged an amazing hardware and OS combination into an exclusive vertically integrated walled garden where it rules by fiat. Google gave away its OS for free in order to gain its market share, pushing out Blackberry and MS. There is no agency, because there's no choice. You need a phone, phones need apps, and it's either Apple or Android, that's it.

This is where we will never see eye to eye I guess. You say there is no choice and I say it was direct market choice that lead us here. Developers complained about being able to support multiple platforms and consumers were confused by offerings and so the market solidified around the best platforms. I didn't buy a Windows Phone because I didn't like it, they didn't have a competitive offering when I weighed them against the competition. I don't see an unhealthy market at the moment either, there is an abundance of choice for consumers at every price range in hardware and on the app side of things. In fact the largest complaint I hear from the dev side of things is a missed opportunity for your argument - discoverability. That's where multiple storefronts would likely help and where Apple/Google have conflicts when they offer their own apps. Regardless you seem to see monopolistic demons everywhere and I've only seen a few thus far.

Anyways I don't think we need to break anything up at this stage, its far too early. I hope like you said that these corporations will beat each other up a bit and come to some sort of middle ground that won't require much government intervention.

YOU SILLY COMMIE!
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45.
 
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 24, 2020, 11:22
Kxmode
 
45.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 24, 2020, 11:22
Aug 24, 2020, 11:22
 Kxmode
 
Beamer wrote on Aug 23, 2020, 07:53:
Sepharo wrote on Aug 23, 2020, 02:50:
"I don't think they're a monopoly."
--"You know who else liked monopolies... Nazis."

Thank you for the funniest exchange of the week.

You know who else would find that funny?
Hitler. So there!

Halp! My bones are broken and I'm coughing up blood from this train derailment!
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44.
 
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 23, 2020, 16:17
44.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 23, 2020, 16:17
Aug 23, 2020, 16:17
 
Lastly, thank you Verno for humoring me in this extensive discussion and always being a decent human being.
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43.
 
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 23, 2020, 16:16
43.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 23, 2020, 16:16
Aug 23, 2020, 16:16
 
Verno wrote on Aug 23, 2020, 10:32:
jdreyer wrote on Aug 23, 2020, 02:16:
Wow. I really just don't know what to say to that statement. That's as pro-monopolist, pro-corporatist statement as I've ever read. You know who else loved corporate conglomerates and monopolies? Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. And we know how that politically cozy military-industrial complex turned out for the rest of the world.

I know you typed this late at night but yeesh man, you're a nazi supporter if you don't see things my way? Haha wow that is really below you. And you deserve a bit of a dig for that so quite frankly for a guy who didn't know who was being sued three days ago you really have some unbending opinions on this stuff and seem to discard any questions or other opinions out of hand. I'm sorry but I don't agree with your take on the situation right now and I was pretty patient and articulate in laying out why at several points here. I think it's premature to break up these companies at this stage, especially Google who allows users to choose to install alternative apps and storefronts. I can see all of the perspectives here and I feel they all have some merit. I also don't feel the phone market developed through anti-competitive action but consumer choice and I laid out my reasons. Maybe going forward this is a problem and these companies will need to be reigned in, I don't know, we'll see what the investigations reveal but "off with their heads" right off the hop feels irresponsible to me. I think that these platforms do need a central authority and trusted source for users because many app developers have shown themselves to be shitheads time and time again who will abuse users and these devices are starting to integrate into societal functions.
Yeah, I'd had a beer when I wrote that. Apologies. Embarassed That said, I didn't call you a Nazi supporter. I was pointing out a historical context: both of those (rather recent) regimes thrived on a close relationship between authoritarian governments and corporate conglomerates like the zaibatsu. It was through those relationships that both governments were able to ramp up their war machines and embark in misguided adventures resulting in the deaths of millions. Through mergers and acquisitions and other techniques, American business is steadily consolidating, and that's not a good thing.

So this has much less to do with Sweeney, and more to do with the US government's lackadaisical approach to anti-trust and enforcing free markets in general, a problem which has been festering and getting worse for decades. And the reason is that these megacorps donate to both parties, and neither party wants to give up that sweet donation cash by going after these companies. Massive corporations that are able to fleece consumers and control the government are bad for both capitalism and democracy.

I don't think there is a lot of incentive for Apple and Google to operate platforms that they can't profit from.

Google Play and the Apple App store will still be profitable if they're broken off from their parent companies. Why wouldn't they be? They're getting 30% of a $50B industry for operating a website and housing a few servers. If you can't make that work and have enough cash left over to fill a swimming pool, then you deserve to go out of business.

Hardware profitability is a real question mark moving forward, users are keeping devices longer and its a much more competitive marketplace for devices.
Not sure why you'd say that given that people still routinely pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for new phones every two or three years. Apple is a two trillion dollar company, and the app store only adds ten billion or so in revenue every year.

As for keeping devices longer, welcome to the PC industry, where people keep desktops and laptops for years, but those hardware companies don't require vertically integrated walled garden software shops to prop up their hardware business. Quite the opposite: You can get an amazing gaming laptop for less than a new phone due to the robust competition in that market. Market pressures keep companies innovating and prices reasonable.

Imagine the App model applied to the PC business: you could only get Intel laptops from the Intel Store using Intel OS and you could only buy software and games approved by Intel (no naughty hentai for you!). There is one other competitor: AMD, and they operate in the same way.

And I see the perspective that as Apple and Google compete on services that they have a real conflict of interest in providing the app distribution and vetting.
The free market has a solution for that: companies that don't vet apps lose business and shut down. Also, I would agree that come kind of regulation would be needed, just like we have for other industries where consumer protection is paramount.

Again though I think there's some alternatives that are less harmful than just immediately breaking up companies at the first of issues. But I guess we'll see what this case brings. Maybe Apple and Google need to charge for the operating system itself, spin off their respective storefronts and offer a "storefront catalog" the way that Microsoft does with search engines, I don't know. I think you're discounting the agency of users here and I'm not sure that deleveraging will be the solution that you seem to think it is. Regardless there are some shades of grey here and complexities that require a bit more thought in my opinion, I don't think that qualifies me or anyone else who disagrees with you as a nazi supporter though.
Well, I wasn't calling you a Nazi supporter, just pointing out that those the kinds of governments that prefer that kind of relationship aren't good for society.
As for user agency, there is none. Apple leveraged an amazing hardware and OS combination into an exclusive vertically integrated walled garden where it rules by fiat. Google gave away its OS for free in order to gain its market share, pushing out Blackberry and MS. There is no agency, because there's no choice. You need a phone, phones need apps, and it's either Apple or Android, that's it.

As for breaking up the companies, you probably wouldn't have to. In the past, just the threat of a break up has often been enough to get companies to change practices and allow competition.
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42.
 
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 23, 2020, 10:32
Verno
 
42.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 23, 2020, 10:32
Aug 23, 2020, 10:32
 Verno
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 23, 2020, 02:16:
Wow. I really just don't know what to say to that statement. That's as pro-monopolist, pro-corporatist statement as I've ever read. You know who else loved corporate conglomerates and monopolies? Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. And we know how that politically cozy military-industrial complex turned out for the rest of the world.

I know you typed this late at night but yeesh man, you're a nazi supporter if you don't see things my way? Haha wow that is really below you. And you deserve a bit of a dig for that so quite frankly for a guy who didn't know who was being sued three days ago you really have some unbending opinions on this stuff and seem to discard any questions or other opinions out of hand. I'm sorry but I don't agree with your take on the situation right now and I was pretty patient and articulate in laying out why at several points here. I think it's premature to break up these companies at this stage, especially Google who allows users to choose to install alternative apps and storefronts. I can see all of the perspectives here and I feel they all have some merit. I also don't feel the phone market developed through anti-competitive action but consumer choice and I laid out my reasons. Maybe going forward this is a problem and these companies will need to be reigned in, I don't know, we'll see what the investigations reveal but "off with their heads" right off the hop feels irresponsible to me. I think that these platforms do need a central authority and trusted source for users because many app developers have shown themselves to be shitheads time and time again who will abuse users and these devices are starting to integrate into societal functions.

I don't think there is a lot of incentive for Apple and Google to operate platforms that they can't profit from. Hardware profitability is a real question mark moving forward, users are keeping devices longer and its a much more competitive marketplace for devices. And I see the perspective that as Apple and Google compete on services that they have a real conflict of interest in providing the app distribution and vetting. Again though I think there's some alternatives that are less harmful than just immediately breaking up companies at the first of issues. But I guess we'll see what this case brings. Maybe Apple and Google need to charge for the operating system itself, spin off their respective storefronts and offer a "storefront catalog" the way that Microsoft does with search engines, I don't know. I think you're discounting the agency of users here and I'm not sure that deleveraging will be the solution that you seem to think it is. Regardless there are some shades of grey here and complexities that require a bit more thought in my opinion, I don't think that qualifies me or anyone else who disagrees with you as a nazi supporter though.

Anyways I can't tell if you're just tweaking my nipples or were having a bad night so I'll leave it off there
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41.
 
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 23, 2020, 07:53
41.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 23, 2020, 07:53
Aug 23, 2020, 07:53
 
Sepharo wrote on Aug 23, 2020, 02:50:
"I don't think they're a monopoly."
--"You know who else liked monopolies... Nazis."

Thank you for the funniest exchange of the week.

You know who else would find that funny?
Hitler. So there!
40.
 
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 23, 2020, 02:50
40.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 23, 2020, 02:50
Aug 23, 2020, 02:50
 
"I don't think they're a monopoly."
--"You know who else liked monopolies... Nazis."

Thank you for the funniest exchange of the week.
Avatar 17249
39.
 
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 23, 2020, 02:16
39.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 23, 2020, 02:16
Aug 23, 2020, 02:16
 
Verno wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 23:22:
Calls to breakup Apple and Google are reactionary and totally unnecessary at this stage.

Wow. I really just don't know what to say to that statement. That's as pro-monopolist, pro-corporatist statement as I've ever read. You know who else loved corporate conglomerates and monopolies? Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. And we know how that politically cozy military-industrial complex turned out for the rest of the world.

I'm not even sure how you could possibly accomplish that, users have been given alternatives in the past and chose this path.

It's easy. The government forces them to sell off these divisions so there's no more vertical integration and exclusivity. Then there's room for other mobile storefronts to open up, providing competition.

Users need a regulated, trusted source to download apps that have been vetted because cellphones carry far too much personal info for anything else. People point to other vertically integrated markets but they were vastly different. The only sensible solutions I've seen involve some sort of third party like a mediator, union or etc. I can see some sort of government appointed oversight to regulate revenue sharing but breaking up app distribution and the platform doesn't seem realistic, especially considering how close we are to these things serving as identity verification.
If you're not going to break them up, regulation is an alternative. But we've seen how that has failed to work with telecoms and ISPs again and again. The rules are ignored, and there are no consequences.
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38.
 
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 22, 2020, 23:22
Verno
 
38.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 22, 2020, 23:22
Aug 22, 2020, 23:22
 Verno
 
They've tried when they brought out the Windows store with Windows 8, about 8 years ago. What was the reaction of Valve/Steam? The creation of Steam OS and then making Proton (a Wine fork) compatibility program to run Windows games on Linux OS'es. Timmy Tencent was also rather unhappy with MS when they announced a desire to lock most software behind the store. It was a silly idea because it would kill much of the reason people still use Windows, its open nature.

Interestingly enough Tim was also upset that they used exclusive content to launch their store/UWP yet now he's quite the fan of buying exclusives but that's neither here nor there. I do find it interesting the way some seem to rationalize his hypocritical actions. Tim sues Apple because they won't sell his storefront for him, OK well I could maybe see the whole "its the only store!" spiel but Google allows users to choose and install their own apps yet they're being sued too. It's OK though because hes just fighting the good fight against bigger market forces or something. Partner with a hardware company and take your shot Tim, certainly has access to the capital after all. If this is really a serious market problem it sounds like he would be able to attract some developers with his promise of better revenue sharing. I'm not being glib when I say that either, I think the hardware side of the industry needs a shake up and users love new ideas. Well good ideas anyway, folding phones are a bit wack

Calls to breakup Apple and Google are reactionary and totally unnecessary at this stage. I'm not even sure how you could possibly accomplish that, users have been given alternatives in the past and chose this path. So did developers for that matter. Users need a regulated, trusted source to download apps that have been vetted because cellphones carry far too much personal info for anything else. People point to other vertically integrated markets but they were vastly different. The only sensible solutions I've seen involve some sort of third party like a mediator, union or etc. I can see some sort of government appointed oversight to regulate revenue sharing but breaking up app distribution and the platform doesn't seem realistic, especially considering how close we are to these things serving as identity verification.

What really stuck in my craw was attempting to recruit kids for PR - that's just some sleazy, indefensible shit. Anyways it'll be interesting to see how the case plays out and it certainly will have a lot of ramifications for the future.
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37.
 
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 22, 2020, 22:26
37.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 22, 2020, 22:26
Aug 22, 2020, 22:26
 
RedEye9 wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 06:38:
Jonjonz wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 06:26:
This has been going on for years now, and still I am amazed at the number of people here that are totally ignorant of how distribution and retail operates in the real world. Taking at least 30% (or marking up the wholesale price by 30% with the retailer keeping the profit) is pretty much standard for retail world wide. People just seem to have no clue what it takes to run a retail operation bricks and mortar or online.
Well luckily Tim Sweeney knows the cost and it's obviously a lot less than 30%. And are you implying that brick and mortar costs the same as a computer serving a file?

When your online store has a fraction of the services to customers and developers as competitors, they can afford to take a smaller cut. With brick and mortar stores there were far more links in the chain to get a product on the shelf. Developers would have loved to get even 30% before digital distribution.
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36.
 
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 22, 2020, 17:45
36.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 22, 2020, 17:45
Aug 22, 2020, 17:45
 
He is bleeding cash to keep from paying taxes and build his fake wall storefront. All the while getting flooded cash by foreign investors.
It's completely legit, just ask the people getting free games from him! Mwahaha

It's the same fraud argument he posted against Steam. Yes, it takes 30% to finance the greatest Storefront and Gaming Network, in the world...ever.
They are innovators as well, and despite all their flaws they constantly keep trying to get better by providing more and more services to customers.
Afaik, everything tiny sweeney is doing he is copying and stealing ideas developed by Steam without permission or public acknowledgement.
That's definitely something to be proud of, right? Wtf Raincloud
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35.
 
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 22, 2020, 16:53
35.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 22, 2020, 16:53
Aug 22, 2020, 16:53
 
Verno wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 14:12:
twobit wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 09:32:
Nobody is asking Apple to host a competing storefront at Apple's expense.

Well Epic did.
Because there's no other choice.


Regardless though, should these companies and platforms be decoupled because of a revenue squabble?
Yes, because this industry is noncompetitive and predatory ATM. It's either that, or regulation.

I can see there being an argument for some sort of objective third party for dispute resolutions like revenue sharing for example. That I could get behind. I just don't know how you come up with something that is fair to everyone, someone is always going to be unhappy.
Yup, either divest or be regulated.

It's not good capitalism to have trillions of dollars of industry be monopolies/duopolies. Unfortunately, our government is an oligarchy and captured by said megacorporations and unlikely to take the serious action needed to create competition. Just look at the critical infrastructure where there's little to no competition, or a dominant player that sets the terms:
- ISPs
- Entertainment (Disney)
- Telecom (Verizon, ATT, Sprint-TMob)
- Microprocessors
- Defense (LockMart, Boeing, Raytheon, GD)
- Cloud (AWS & MS)
- Social Media
- Online retailing (Amz over 50%, even while yes, there are 1000s of online retailers)
- Healthcare
Etc., Etc.

Online retailing (Amazon)
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34.
 
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 22, 2020, 16:34
34.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 22, 2020, 16:34
Aug 22, 2020, 16:34
 
FloorPie wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 12:29:
"* It is probably very tempting for Microsoft to have their own Walled Garden and money printing machine."

They've tried when they brought out the Windows store with Windows 8, about 8 years ago. What was the reaction of Valve/Steam? The creation of Steam OS and then making Proton (a Wine fork) compatibility program to run Windows games on Linux OS'es. Timmy Tencent was also rather unhappy with MS when they announced a desire to lock most software behind the store. It was a silly idea because it would kill much of the reason people still use Windows, its open nature.
Now imagine MS had done that 25 years ago. Valve could respond the way it did because it already existed and was a multi-billion dollar privately owned corporation.
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33.
 
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 22, 2020, 16:29
33.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 22, 2020, 16:29
Aug 22, 2020, 16:29
 
Verno wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 08:36:
Orogogus wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 05:03:
jdreyer wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 00:24:
The point is that all iOS developers wouldn't have to swallow an egregious 30% cut if there was more competition in the market.
Sure they would. Because even if there were competition, Apple would still have way more than 50% market share, and you'd still be complaining about a monopoly, like you do with the PC market and Steam's 75%.

I asked before but didn't see an answer -- where do you see artists getting more than a 70% cut of revenue? It seems to me that you've accepted that it's outrageous based on Sweeney's say-so, but I haven't seen much evidence.

Again I think it bears worth repeating that Tim is continually trying to pay zero. There is no fair cut because the cut he wants is nothing and we now have evidence from the source in that regard. He's done it with Google and now Apple. He's also suing Google who allow users to install their own apps and storefronts. What's the excuse there?
Yes, he's trying to pay zero. That's how market pressure works. iOS wants him to pay 100%. He want's to pay 0%. In a free market, he could shop around and bargain. Can't do that here. Look, I don't think Tim is an altrustic humanitarian. I think he's doing what's best for Epic. However, I sympathize with his struggle to pay a fair amount in a $50B duopolistic market. If this raises the profile of this issue, and gives ammo to the government cases against Apple and Google, then I'm all for it.

Apple and Google should not be forced to host a direct competitor to their store on their store and do it for free. And breaking up Apple and Google is no solution to any problem here. We can't just breakup every closed software platform when they become successful.
And software developers shouldn't have to operate in a duopoly. Imagine if MS had a vertically integrated walled garden and all software, including games, had to be sold through the MS store: no Steam, no GoG, no EA store, just MS. When MS got 96% market share for Internet Explorer, they stopped development. Can you imagine if we were all still using IE 6.0?

The "just trust Tim" argument is amusing but ignores the fact that he's been hypocritical about these and other issues many times, not to mention deceptive about seeking an arrangement with Apple while he attempts to recruit children for his PR campaign. Tim is a businessman like most others, he acts out of self interest. I don't mind when his interests align with consumers but there are bigger questions here with serious ramifications to these platforms and I don't see a lot of answers from the people who seem eager to just accept his version and want these companies broken up.
Why shouldn't these companies be broken up? Ma Bell was broken up, and we got much better and cheaper innovation and phone service. Intel was not broken up, but was prevented from enforcing its patents on CPUs, resulting in at least nominal competition in the CPU market (such as it is). Duopolies are terrible, but they're still preferable to monopolies. If Apple and Google were forced to sell off their app store divisions and allow multiple app stores on their devices, we'd see actual competition in this market.
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32.
 
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 22, 2020, 16:21
32.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 22, 2020, 16:21
Aug 22, 2020, 16:21
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 16:09:
Jonjonz wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 06:26:
This has been going on for years now, and still I am amazed at the number of people here that are totally ignorant of how distribution and retail operates in the real world. Taking at least 30% (or marking up the wholesale price by 30% with the retailer keeping the profit) is pretty much at the low end of markup. Some industries the markup is often much higher. Clothing can be any where from 50 to 125%. Restaurants anywhere from 50% to 500%. It is just verbiage between a suggested list price of $100 + 30% or $130 with the 30 going to the retailer and a list price of $130 with the retailer keeping $30.

Sure, but restaurants and clothes retailers operate in environments of nearly infinite competition. Market pressures keep the difference between cost and price very close. Profit margins are in the low single digits. Also, there's more overhead in those industries with respect to physical retail spaces and employee salaries. These industries are linear, meaning a 10% expansion requires a 10% increase in cost. Digital distribution, on the other hand, is exponential: a 100% expansion requires only 10% increase in outlays. Add to that little market pressure because of Apple's vertical integration and 50% market share, and there's little innovation. The app store is a profit center that has changed very little over the past decade, because it hasn't had to.
wait, what’s that you said about competition??.?
RedEye9 wrote on Apr 19, 2019, 16:52:
Competition is good for gamers, developers, storefronts and publishers.
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31.
 
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 22, 2020, 16:11
31.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 22, 2020, 16:11
Aug 22, 2020, 16:11
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 06:30:
So, everyone who thinks Apple and Steam are screwing over developers with their 30% cut -- you must really despise professional sport team owners. Right? I mean, as far as I know the major sports (MLB, NBA, NFL) all have around a 50/50 split of revenue between the owners and the players.

If iOS app developers had a union with 100% membership where they could strike for better terms, I wouldn't have nearly the same ability to argue they are getting screwed. Also, comparing digital distribution to a completely different industry with different cost outlays isn't really that useful.
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Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 22, 2020, 16:09
30.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 22, 2020, 16:09
Aug 22, 2020, 16:09
 
Jonjonz wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 06:26:
This has been going on for years now, and still I am amazed at the number of people here that are totally ignorant of how distribution and retail operates in the real world. Taking at least 30% (or marking up the wholesale price by 30% with the retailer keeping the profit) is pretty much at the low end of markup. Some industries the markup is often much higher. Clothing can be any where from 50 to 125%. Restaurants anywhere from 50% to 500%. It is just verbiage between a suggested list price of $100 + 30% or $130 with the 30 going to the retailer and a list price of $130 with the retailer keeping $30.

Sure, but restaurants and clothes retailers operate in environments of nearly infinite competition. Market pressures keep the difference between cost and price very close. Profit margins are in the low single digits. Also, there's more overhead in those industries with respect to physical retail spaces and employee salaries. These industries are linear, meaning a 10% expansion requires a 10% increase in cost. Digital distribution, on the other hand, is exponential: a 100% expansion requires only 10% increase in outlays. Add to that little market pressure because of Apple's vertical integration and 50% market share, and there's little innovation. The app store is a profit center that has changed very little over the past decade, because it hasn't had to.
COVID infections: 133M - - - COVID deaths: 3M - - - Death rate: 2%
Vaccines administered: 711M - - - Vaccine deaths: 7 - - - Death rate: 0.00000001%
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Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 22, 2020, 15:59
29.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 22, 2020, 15:59
Aug 22, 2020, 15:59
 
Orogogus wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 05:03:
jdreyer wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 00:24:
The point is that all iOS developers wouldn't have to swallow an egregious 30% cut if there was more competition in the market.
Sure they would. Because even if there were competition, Apple would still have way more than 50% market share, and you'd still be complaining about a monopoly, like you do with the PC market and Steam's 75%.

I asked before but didn't see an answer -- where do you see artists getting more than a 70% cut of revenue? It seems to me that you've accepted that it's outrageous based on Sweeney's say-so, but I haven't seen much evidence.

In the app space, nowhere do I see developers getting more than 70%, and that's the point. It's a duopoly. It needs to either be regulated or broken up before that will change. I would expect an actual democratic government (not our current oligarchy) to force Apple to divest itself of the app store and the resulting divestment to allow other iOS app stores to form and compete. Same with Google/Android.

And we've seen the results on Steam from EGS getting publisher exclusives and offering a better percentage: Steam changed its percentage depending on revenue generated. This would have never happened had EGS not aggressively competed with Steam.

We live in a free market nation. Competition is the crux of that. In monopolistic and duopolistic industries, there is no competition. Look at how Intel's market domination affected the processor market for the last decade: Intel has basically produced the same CPU on the same process for the last eight years with almost no innovation. Now AMD is ascendant, which is good, but if they come to dominate and Intel continues to struggle, we'll see AMD become complacent as well, and again innovation will suffer.
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Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 22, 2020, 15:15
Kxmode
 
28.
Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 22, 2020, 15:15
Aug 22, 2020, 15:15
 Kxmode
 
Verno wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 08:36:
Orogogus wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 05:03:
jdreyer wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 00:24:
The point is that all iOS developers wouldn't have to swallow an egregious 30% cut if there was more competition in the market.
Sure they would. Because even if there were competition, Apple would still have way more than 50% market share, and you'd still be complaining about a monopoly, like you do with the PC market and Steam's 75%.

I asked before but didn't see an answer -- where do you see artists getting more than a 70% cut of revenue? It seems to me that you've accepted that it's outrageous based on Sweeney's say-so, but I haven't seen much evidence.

Again I think it bears worth repeating that Tim is continually trying to pay zero. There is no fair cut because the cut he wants is nothing and we now have evidence from the source in that regard. He's done it with Google and now Apple. He's also suing Google who allow users to install their own apps and storefronts. What's the excuse there?

I think it's egregious for someone to use Apple and Google's platform without paying for all the infrastructure and perks the platform provides. "Freeloading" is a word that comes to mind.
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Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal
Aug 22, 2020, 14:12
Verno
 
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Re: Apple Claims Epic Requested a Special Deal Aug 22, 2020, 14:12
Aug 22, 2020, 14:12
 Verno
 
twobit wrote on Aug 22, 2020, 09:32:
Nobody is asking Apple to host a competing storefront at Apple's expense.

Well Epic did. Epic asked Apple to let it load a competing storefront on the App Store. It is also fact that Epic has tried repeatedly to end run the payment systems of Apple and Google. They tried to bypass them entirely making that revenue split zero. Epic tried this in the past with Google in 2018, it tried to force its users to sideload Fortnite so it could garner more revenue. Users largely rejected that choice and Epic was forced to cave. It is also worth noting that Epic is suing Apple AND Google. Google allows users to choose for themselves and install their own apps and even entire storefronts if they want, you just can't do it through the Play Store. And despite that openness, they are also being sued. Epic wants the discoverability of the platform holders stores to install its own storefront but it doesn't want to pay any revenue back to them, it is pretty much that simple. We can talk about what other critics of Apple/Google want and fair enough but that's what Epic wants and Epic brought this suit.

We can debate about whether Apple or Google should get to control the platforms they built at great time and expense. To me, Apple designs and develops it's own devices, which runs it's own software. It's well within it's right to say what can and cannot be done on that platform. These platforms require multi billion dollar reinvestment annually just in hardware offerings to keep consumers interested, they require massive software teams to maintain, constantly reinvestment in software development for the OS itself and associated apps, the list goes on and on. Given that these platforms are designed and regulated from the ground up a certain way, I don't know how people expect them to be easily decoupled either. It's an inherently different product at that point.

We can also discuss whether its good or bad for consumers and the marketplace as a whole. To me, it's up to consumers to choose what platform they want. Do they want an Apple device? Then they are fully aware of what that entails. Do they want an Android device? Again, they know what comes with it. Some have argued that there is a "duopoly" and that users are somehow being harmed by lack of choice. I would note that the market already had several players and naturally chose this path, for better or for worse. Developers could not support 5 different phone platforms and consumers were confused by the offerings. Apple and Google put the rest to pasture with better offerings, not anti-competitive actions. Despite all of that, it remains a market open to innovation and new entrants as both companies are lacking for new ideas.

We can discuss what is a fair revenue split and I'm sure everyone has an opinion on that. People like to point to how profitable both companies are as if it's somehow evidence of unfairness but I don't agree that they are related. Apple and Google have a mountain cash from tax dodging and other shitty practices I don't approve of. Many, many other industries have significantly worse revenue splits. In fact 70/30 seems fairly standard on the software side of things. Epic does business with the big console makers for example and is largely silent on this front despite them charging the same split.

Regardless though, should these companies and platforms be decoupled because of a revenue squabble? That seems to be what a few are proposing here. Speaking as a user of these platforms myself, I have no desire for that outcome and it's not because I am rooting for any particular party, I speak entirely out of self interest. I don't want a third party hosting an application store that is not regulated by the platform holder in some way. Like it or not phones have become central to society and carry a lot of personal info and provide a lot of functionality now. I don't want 10 app stores to worry about, each with its own set of permissions, rules and etc. I like knowing there is a process involved and a privilege that can be revoked by a central platform holder. People can argue more competition is better but I don't have any issue finding useful apps and paying reasonable prices for them, it is a market full of abundant choice right now even if you only get the apps themselves at a few locations.

I can see there being an argument for some sort of objective third party for dispute resolutions like revenue sharing for example. That I could get behind. I just don't know how you come up with something that is fair to everyone, someone is always going to be unhappy.
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