Fortnite vs. Apple and Google: who is right?
In order to avoid the 30-percent fee charged by Apple and Google for offering apps in their stores, Epic Games, the producer of the video game Fortnite, integrated an alternative payment option into the latest version of the game. This prompted Apple and Google to remove Fortnite from their stores, and Epic responded with a lawsuit. Are the tech giants making too much profit at the expense of developers?
The threat of technological totalitarianism
This is about fundamental questions of competition and progress, Internet expert Massimo Sideri writes in Corriere della Sera:
“Apple and Google need to reflect on their origins. They have undoubtedly changed the world, but they have become a kind of 'Internet border post'. Anyone who wants to pass through them has to pay a 30 percent 'duty'. Companies that rebel, like Epic, are banned. ... Could a new Apple, a new Google emerge today under such conditions? Have Apple and Google become obstacles to innovation? They must answer to their shareholders. But as powerful as they are, they must also start answering to society if they don't want to go down in history as technological totalitarians.”
High hurdles are in the interest of users
Polityka comments that although Apple is undoubtedly expensive for other companies, it is also secure:
“When considering the complaint the court may also take into account the fact that although Apple is exploiting its dominant position to the detriment of free competition, this is not necessarily bad for users. If payments and applications are not monitored, that would pave the way for software that steals the money right out of your pocket, for example through subscriptions (such attempts are currently being made). ... It should not be forgotten, however, that this is not a battle between good and evil, but between the interests of large companies for whom the interests of users are at the bottom of the list of concerns.”