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Epic Games’ Apple Australian Court Dates Moved To 2024

 |  April 5, 2022

Proceedings in the legal dispute between Epic Games and Apple have bogged down in Australia, and won’t reach a courtroom until 2024.

A Monday ruling of the nation’s Federal Court decided that, as Google and Epic are also fighting over essentially the same issues, it makes no sense for Epic and Apple to air their grievances separately, as was planned for November 2022.

Epic and Apple had already told the court they would not be ready by November, which led Justice Nye Perram to push the hearing into 2023. Epic and Google, meanwhile, had told the court they would not be ready to front until late 2023 or early 2024.

Perram felt that assessment was optimistic, so has scheduled 18 weeks commencing in March 2024 to hear both cases.

But the judge is also worried that the cases will be very difficult to manage, because both address essentially the same issue: whether Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store lessen competition, as Epic alleges they did by excluding Epic’s game Fortnite after it bypassed their payment schemes. Perram therefore pondered that one case could resolve issues raised in the other.

“For example, if in the Apple case, Epic is found to be correct and that the iOS App Distribution Market consists of the provision of distribution services to the developers of apps on the iOS platform, then this necessarily implies that the App Store does not compete in relation to gaming with the Google Play Store,” he wrote. “Having made that finding, could it then be concluded in the Google case that the Android App Distribution Market is in fact a market of two-sided transaction platforms providing services to both consumers and developers and that the platforms compete with each other?”

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