Microsoft says that if Apple isn't stopped now, its antitrust behavior will just get worse...

Posted:
in iOS
Microsoft has filed an amicus brief supporting Epic Games in its appeal against Apple, and argues that, "the potential antitrust issues stretch far beyond gaming."

Credit: Epic Games
Credit: Epic Games


As Epic Games continues to file its appeal against the 2021 ruling that chiefly favored Apple, interested parties have been contributing supporting filings to the court. Notably, those have included US attorneys general, but now Microsoft has also joined in on the side of Epic Games.

Microsoft's amicus filing included below, sets out what it describes as its own "unique - and balanced - perspective to the legal, economic, and technological issues this case implicates." As a firm which, like Apple, sells both hardware and software, Microsoft says it "has an interest" in supporting antitrust law.

Describing what it calls Apple's "extraordinary gatekeeper power," Microsoft joins Epic Games in criticizing alleged errors in the original trial judge's conclusions.

"Online commerce and interpersonal connection funnels significantly, and sometimes predominantly, through iOS devices," says Microsoft. "Few companies, perhaps none since AT&T... at the height of its telephone monopoly, have controlled the pipe through which such an enormous range of economic activity flows."

To support its claim that the Epic Games vs Apple ruling has "potential antitrust issues [that] stretch far beyond gaming," Microsoft describes what else it sees as this "enormous range of economic activity."

"Beyond app distribution and in-app payment solutions - the adjacent markets directly at issue in this case," says Microsoft's filing, "Apple offers mobile payments, music, movies and television, advertising, games, health tracking, web browsing, messaging, video chat, news, cloud storage, e-books, smart-home devices, wearables, and more besides."

Microsoft claims that if the original ruling is upheld, the result could be that it would "insulate Apple from meritorious antitrust scrutiny and embolden further harmful conduct." The company further concludes that this would mean "innovation will suffer."

Beyond Microsoft's well-documented antitrust issues with Internet Explorer, the company also has complete control of its Xbox console ecosystem in much the same way Apple has control over iOS software distribution. It also intends to purchase game developer and publisher Activision/Blizzard, consolidating the gaming industry even further.

Apple is expected to begin its response to the appeal in March.

Microsoft Amicus Curiae in Epic vs. Apple by Mike Wuerthele on Scribd

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 148
    Are their alternative Xbox stores? Can I side load games onto my Xbox?
    hydrogenemig647auxiodoozydozenBeatswilliamlondonllamaronnseanjmagman1979
  • Reply 2 of 148
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,448member
    Are their alternative Xbox stores? Can I side load games onto my Xbox?
    Came here to say the same thing. :/ Not to mention they had a store for Windows Mobile before they killed it off. 
    edited February 1 mark fearingBeatswilliamlondonseanjmagman1979aderutterbloggerblogolsargonautjahblade
  • Reply 3 of 148
    Apple is much too successful - we need to stop it now! -- Microsoft

    Microsoft is pretty pathetic, and Apple's privacy terms rankle Microsoft's nerves. Too bad Windows doesn't have the same privacy safeguards - with Windows attempting to force everything through Edge.

    Microsoft runs their own closed ecosystem with XBox, so it's a lot of Microsoft calling the kettle black.

    The real monopoly is in the enterprise software realm where Microsoft keeps boosting prices for their good enough software.

    What really pisses off Microsoft is that they don't have access to Apple Silicon ARM processors, so Windows ARM will run faster on Apple hardware than on their OEMs - or indeed on their own surface machines.
    mark fearingBeatswilliamlondonronnseanjmagman1979StrangeDaysbloggerblogviclauyycols
  • Reply 4 of 148
    What about Microsoft buying pretty much every games development studio under the sun?  They've been consolidating quite a few of late - more so than Sony has, that's for sure.  Will there be any games companies left that aren't owned by Microsoft or Sony?
    hydrogenmark fearingBeatswilliamlondonllamaronnseanjthtmagman1979aderutter
  • Reply 5 of 148
    Apple is much too successful - we need to stop it now! -- Microsoft

    Microsoft is pretty pathetic, and Apple's privacy terms rankle Microsoft's nerves. Too bad Windows doesn't have the same privacy safeguards - with Windows attempting to force everything through Edge.

    Microsoft runs their own closed ecosystem with XBox, so it's a lot of Microsoft calling the kettle black.

    The real monopoly is in the enterprise software realm where Microsoft keeps boosting prices for their good enough software.

    What really pisses off Microsoft is that they don't have access to Apple Silicon ARM processors, so Windows ARM will run faster on Apple hardware than on their OEMs - or indeed on their own surface machines.
    Microsoft has a point here. In the 90s it was so successful it almost killed Apple. On the other hand, Steve Jobs resurrected Apple without having to stop Microsoft. 
    williamlondonkitatitjony0
  • Reply 6 of 148
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,712member
    Apple is much too successful - we need to stop it now! -- Microsoft

    Microsoft is pretty pathetic, and Apple's privacy terms rankle Microsoft's nerves. Too bad Windows doesn't have the same privacy safeguards - with Windows attempting to force everything through Edge.

    Microsoft runs their own closed ecosystem with XBox, so it's a lot of Microsoft calling the kettle black.

    The real monopoly is in the enterprise software realm where Microsoft keeps boosting prices for their good enough software.

    What really pisses off Microsoft is that they don't have access to Apple Silicon ARM processors, so Windows ARM will run faster on Apple hardware than on their OEMs - or indeed on their own surface machines.
    Microsoft has a point here. In the 90s it was so successful it almost killed Apple. On the other hand, Steve Jobs resurrected Apple without having to stop Microsoft. 
    Yup, MS is speaking from experience :smiley: 

    But I have to say I have often wondered why Apple hasn't separated its various businesses. I am not at all sure what that would look like, or even if it would help keep antitrust lawsuits from coming.
    williamlondondewmekillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 148
    All of these companies demanding the government step in and force Apple to change it's platform to match up with their own desires are just jealous of Apple's position in the market.

    I've not heard a single valid argument against Apple. It's all feelings based "I don't like how Apple operates and therefore we want Grandpa Joe to step in and force them to operate the way WE think they should".
    Beatswilliamlondonolsargonautravnorodomhlee1169killroywatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 148
    Apple is much too successful - we need to stop it now! -- Microsoft

    Microsoft is pretty pathetic, and Apple's privacy terms rankle Microsoft's nerves. Too bad Windows doesn't have the same privacy safeguards - with Windows attempting to force everything through Edge.

    Microsoft runs their own closed ecosystem with XBox, so it's a lot of Microsoft calling the kettle black.

    The real monopoly is in the enterprise software realm where Microsoft keeps boosting prices for their good enough software.

    What really pisses off Microsoft is that they don't have access to Apple Silicon ARM processors, so Windows ARM will run faster on Apple hardware than on their OEMs - or indeed on their own surface machines.
    Microsoft has a point here. In the 90s it was so successful it almost killed Apple. On the other hand, Steve Jobs resurrected Apple without having to stop Microsoft. 
    Actually with an infusion of cash from Microsoft and a guarantee on the availability of Office for the Mac. If they weren’t in antitrust hot water themselves they probably would have let Apple die.
    llamathtDetnatorkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 148
    Oh Microsoft what about M365? You actually leverage your Win position to force out all other MDM/Office/Identity providers out of the market, (everyone is leaving MDM platforms as you offer Intune for “free” ) What about Xbox, and you buying up game developers … Sore losers, but fear not, people will eventually see this and cancel their M365 subs, I know my company with 300 seats just did, just because they feel abused … and Apple is offering Apple Business Essentials … I hope a lot will follow suit.
    williamlondonseanjthtolsargonautkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 148
    The phrase “the pot calling the kettle black” comes to mind. Have you ever tried using a none windows device in a Microsoft controlled environment that uses exchange services. Don’t even get me started on the Office for Mac apps! 
    williamlondonseanjkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 148
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Not like MS is a competitor to Apple or anything.

    And MS is right! Let’s also open up all of Microsoft’s stores to 3rd parties! I wanna be able to sell my crappy games on Xbox without giving them money!!

    Microsoft has a monopoly on Windows!! Microsoft, police yourselves!
    williamlondonseanjmwhiteaderutterviclauyycargonautravnorodomkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 148
    Microsoft has monopoly in so many areas, at least in Europe. In many tax funded organisations within states there is a Windows only policy. The same in many private companies. I don’t think Microsoft are in a position to judge here, it’s just bad taste - as always from them.
    williamlondonBeatsargonautmike54ravnorodomkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 148
    Sold my M$ shares some time ago to buy more Apple shares. F.ck M$!! Think nowadays Apple is seen as a danger to some.
    williamlondonBeatsargonautkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 148
    The standard for the Sherman Act is "unreasonable restraint" of trade. It's completely obvious that nothing Epic has experienced with Fortnite rises to that level.

    Fortnite was not originally developed for mobile hardware. It was ported to mobile hardware AFTER Fortnite became a huge hit on video game consoles and Windows PCs. Mobile is the SMALLEST section of the video game market for this particular game. Epic made a considerable amount of money on mobile, but it's dwarfed by the amount that was made elsewhere with the same game. Does that align with Epic's claim that their trade for Fornite was unreasonably restrained? Absolutely not. 

    The monetization system that Epic used for Fornite on mobile hardware was IDENTICAL to the system they used on video game consoles. Players downloaded the game for free and then spent $$ on Epic's virtual currency. If the virtual currency was purchased inside the app, the platform owner took a commission. If the virtual currency was purchased online or through a gift card from a retail store then the platform owner didn't take a commission. So regardless of mobile or video game console being used, 2 out of the 3 ways to buy the virtual currency didn't involve a commission. And nobody can really argue that buying something online or buying something in a physical retail store is particularly unusual for consumers. Does that align with Epic's claim that their trade for Fornite was unreasonably restrained? Nope. 
    williamlondonviclauyycargonautomasouuraharawatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 148
    Apple is much too successful - we need to stop it now! -- Microsoft

    Microsoft is pretty pathetic, and Apple's privacy terms rankle Microsoft's nerves. Too bad Windows doesn't have the same privacy safeguards - with Windows attempting to force everything through Edge.

    Microsoft runs their own closed ecosystem with XBox, so it's a lot of Microsoft calling the kettle black.

    The real monopoly is in the enterprise software realm where Microsoft keeps boosting prices for their good enough software.

    What really pisses off Microsoft is that they don't have access to Apple Silicon ARM processors, so Windows ARM will run faster on Apple hardware than on their OEMs - or indeed on their own surface machines.
    Microsoft has a point here. In the 90s it was so successful it almost killed Apple. On the other hand, Steve Jobs resurrected Apple without having to stop Microsoft. 
    Worth noting Microsoft invested in Apple in the 90's. Apple may owe Microsoft to a degree.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 148
    Beats said:
    Not like MS is a competitor to Apple or anything.

    And MS is right! Let’s also open up all of Microsoft’s stores to 3rd parties! I wanna be able to sell my crappy games on Xbox without giving them money!!

    Microsoft has a monopoly on Windows!! Microsoft, police yourselves!
    Microsoft doesn't put the same controls on Windows that Apple puts on their platforms.

    For one you can install whatever you want on their devices. For another they allow third party payments for when you do use their store.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 148
    I think people would lay off Apple if they would just allow third party payment systems fully.

    Developers already spend $99+ a year for distribution of their apps in the app store. 3rd party payments require $0 for Apple to maintain because they use zero of Apple's infrastructure outside of the phone you already paid for.

    Apple doesn't need to take a cut in your entire business.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 148
    Apple is much too successful - we need to stop it now! -- Microsoft

    Microsoft is pretty pathetic, and Apple's privacy terms rankle Microsoft's nerves. Too bad Windows doesn't have the same privacy safeguards - with Windows attempting to force everything through Edge.

    Microsoft runs their own closed ecosystem with XBox, so it's a lot of Microsoft calling the kettle black.

    The real monopoly is in the enterprise software realm where Microsoft keeps boosting prices for their good enough software.

    What really pisses off Microsoft is that they don't have access to Apple Silicon ARM processors, so Windows ARM will run faster on Apple hardware than on their OEMs - or indeed on their own surface machines.
    Microsoft has a point here. In the 90s it was so successful it almost killed Apple. On the other hand, Steve Jobs resurrected Apple without having to stop Microsoft. 
    Worth noting Microsoft invested in Apple in the 90's. Apple may owe Microsoft to a degree.
    It is a settlement. Apple sued Microsoft for Windows infringement on MacOS. And Apple agreed not to participate DOJ law suit to split Microsoft into two parts, OS and Office. 
    edited February 1 williamlondonBeatsargonautCesar Battistini Maziero9secondkox2maximarawatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 19 of 148
    Microsoft, Google and others want to innovate on mobile gaming with their streaming services and Apple is standing in their way with their restrictions. All the while not investing nearly as much in the space.
    williamlondonviclauyyc
  • Reply 20 of 148
    brian.on.android said: For another they allow third party payments for when you do use their store.
    Not for games. Gong! 
    williamlondonBeatsargonautCesar Battistini Mazieronarwhalroundaboutnowwatto_cobra
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