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Apple slams Epic Games at Australia hearing, calls them ‘self-serving’

Epic Games has argued that they are challenging Apple on the behalf of app developers everywhere.
Epic Games has argued that they are challenging Apple on the behalf of app developers everywhere. (Medium)

Apple called Epic Games’ attempt to “help local developers” in Australia a “self-serving” attempt to change the App Store.

Apple and Epic Games’ dispute has been going on for a while now and the latest development in the case is that the Australian federal court is trying to figure out if they are going to postpone the case or not. 

Apple had previously asked for the case to be dismissed entirely but has now changed their stance to requesting for a stay. It remains to be seen if Australian authorities are willing to postpone their case until the one in the US is over.

According to a report in The Guardian, the court held a session on Tuesday to hear arguments from both Apple and Epic Games. Epic Games argued that they are challenging Apple on the behalf of app developers everywhere.

What’s central to Apple’s position in the case is that Epic Games had earlier agreed to litigate in Amercia, reports Apple Insider.

"You have a sophisticated commercial entity that sought and obtained access to Apple's intellectual property and all of the benefits of access to Apple's software and hardware, exploited that opportunity to great effect for many years," Apple's barrister, Stephen Free SC said. 

"And the essence of the dispute... is that Epic wants to redefine the terms of access in quite fundamental and self-serving ways,” he added.

"Epic wants to ignore its... contractual promise to litigate only in the northern district of California," Free said. He also added that the App Store changes Epic Games is seeking would fundamentally affect Apple's business model, which is built "around prioritising quality, security, and privacy of these operating systems".

On the other hand, Epic Games barrister Neil Young QC has spoken about the issue of litigating only in the northern district of California.

"Mandatory and protective laws of this forum... override any private choice of jurisdiction," Young said.

"The issue is the impact on Australian markets and whether the requirements of our law are satisfied, It is a pretty straightforward case, and we would think the evidence is clear this conduct is going to substantially impact these markets in the way we allege,” he added.

The court has yet to decide on whether they are going to postpone the case or not. However, Justice Nye Perram has said that he would deliver his decision "pretty promptly".

Apple versus Epic Games is due to go to trial in the US on May 3.

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