Apple v. Epic: Professor Shubha Ghosh Reviews Case with Yahoo Finance
Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust trial nears conclusion
(Yahoo Finance | May 24, 2021) The Apple VS. Epic Games courtroom battle is expected to end today. Syracuse University Professor of Law and Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute Director Shubha Ghosh joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss.
AKIKO FUJITA: Lawyers for Apple and Epic Games presenting their closing arguments in court today. A final ruling in the case isn't expected for weeks, but the questions raised in the courtroom could have broader implications for other antitrust cases into the tech giant. Let's bring in Shubha Ghosh, Syracuse University professor of law and Intellectual Property Law Institute director there. Shubha, it's good to talk to you.
The key questions for Apple, of course, going into this was whether, in fact, they'd abused their position in the market in terms of setting up those policies within the App Store, charging some of those commissions. We heard Tim Cook over on Friday say that a lot of this really was about to protect the privacy of users. How do you think this case shapes up right now for Apple, as we round out the closing arguments today?
SHUBHA GHOSH: Yeah, I think it's always a very difficult case for the plaintiffs in antitrust. I think there are some complicated issues here about whether Apple is a monopolist, whether there are alternatives for consumers, and also a question about what exactly is the competitive harm that Epic is complaining about, and how the court can remedy it. I'm not as convinced about the privacy arguments, whether that's really beneficial to Apple, or may even be relevant to the final outcome of the case.
AKIKO FUJITA: How high was the bar for Epic Games going into the case, in terms of proving Apple's monopoly? And do you think the lawyers were able to present a case that met it?
SHUBHA GHOSH: I think, you know, Epic's strategy, it seemed to me, was to basically focus on the platform, to focus on the gaming platform through the App Store, while Apple is trying to argue that there are lots of other alternatives to the Apple Store in order to get access to Epic Games. So it's a fairly high burden, in terms of really trying to characterize this market and in terms of how consumers buy these games and to really convince the court—and this is a bench trial, not a jury trial—that the relevant market is the one for the App Store, rather than a broader market for games ...