竞争法商业化的概念革新

Fortnite goes Rogue: Analysing 史诗’s Lawsuit against 谷歌 和 苹果

The second part of 这个 文章 can be accessed 这里.

介绍 

流行的开发商 battle royale shooter 游戏 Fortnite, 史诗 游戏类 has filed a federal lawsuit against 苹果 和 谷歌. This came as a follow up to both 苹果 and 谷歌 removing Fortnite from 其 respective app stores. 

Fortnite应用内购买的V-bucks最新更新提供20%的折扣; 唯一的例外是,买方只能通过 purchasing 直接从Epic的付款门户中获取,这意味着绕过了Apple和Google的应用内付款门户。 史诗采取的这一步骤违反了Apple和Google的政策。  苹果首先禁止Fortnite App Store,让玩家处于高空干燥状态,没有机会安装游戏。苹果公司的这一举动是史诗般的预言,因为他们几乎 immediately 上传了一段以Apple 1984年(乔治·奥威尔的书)为主题的电视广告嘲笑的视频。最重要的是,Epic向Apple提起了长达64页的详细投诉,称苹果在加利福尼亚州地方法院犯有反托拉斯法。 谷歌很快加入了Apple的行列,禁止其Play商店中的应用程序 随之而来的是,他们也受到了Epic的详细联邦诉讼的打击。  Epic显然知道他们在做什么,因为如果加州巨人确实将其从其App Store中删除,它已经制定了一个完整的在线营销计划,以超越苹果。同时,Epic还准备成立一支非常强大的法律团队,旨在将Apple告上法庭,迫使其取消或至少改变其政策,即放弃所有应用内购买(或游戏内购买)的30%的份额,苹果公司开发的所有应用程序和游戏,这些应用程序和游戏都是由这些开发人员在其AppStore中发布的。 

苹果 responded in court to 史诗 游戏类’ complaint against the company for the withdrawal of Fortnite from the 苹果 App 存储在美国寄存器中。 北区地方法院 California, 苹果 said 那 “having agreed 那 it 将 like to reap the rewards of the App Store without paying for them, 史诗 violated its agreement with 苹果, through its own users 和 the operator of 苹果 users as leverage.”   

Analyzing 史诗’s Lawsuit 

Some of the concerns posed by 史诗 in its complaint challenges 苹果’s monopolistic policies against 开发商 in the iPhone 和 iOS ecosystems 和 claim they breach US 反托拉斯 law. 苹果 has been mainly accused of three things:  

  • Posing anti-competitive restraints 和 monopolistic practices;  
  • Unlawful 和 unreasonable restraint where it charges an unruly sum of 30% on each 和 every app sale (and in-app purchases). Further, it does 不 allow these apps to bypass its payment portal 和 specifically provides under its terms of use 那 the same 将 be in violation of 其 App Store Policy; 和
  • The claim is apparently 不 for monetary compensation, it is for creating fair 和 just competition on different platforms. [一世]

史诗 has 也 filed a suit of a similar nature against 谷歌; it voiced its concerns over 谷歌’s powerful distribution system 和 its in-app 购买 billing systems. The suit on 谷歌 将 be one with less of an impact as Android is more flexible 和 allows third-party apps to be installed via ways other than directly installing the app from its PlayStore.[ii]  

整个惨败始于Epic据称违反了与Apple和Google的合同条款, a different payment method, which 将 潜在地 bypass all payments from 其 respective app stores to a server controlled by 史诗 by the virtue of 史诗 providing with a 20% discount. This was clearly a violation of the terms of the contract in the eyes of 都 苹果 和 谷歌 which was agreed upon by 史诗 willingly before signing the same. 史诗’s defense to 这个 move is 那 the contract which they signed is anti-competitive, thus being void ab initio. 这将使合同本质上是非法且不可执行的。[iii] 

苹果 和 谷歌’s policy makes funneling of all apps mandatory through 其 respective app stores which is 据称非法竞争。 反托拉斯法规范企业 促进竞争以使消费者受益。这项法律 is overmined 主要由3个不同的联邦法规组成。 

  • 1890年的《谢尔曼法》 
  • 克莱顿法案,1914年 
  • 1914年联邦贸易委员会法[iv] 

In the instant 案件, the 诉讼 根据1890年的《谢尔曼法》提交。 

《谢尔曼法》第1条将合同定为违法 combinations, or conspiracies 那 unreasonably restrict trade[v]但是, in 坦帕电子。公司与纳什维尔煤炭公司 It was stated 那 a violation 将 be considered if the effect of the business is to 在商业领域的实质性份额中取消竞争。从而, indicating 那 史诗 将 have to prove 那 bypassing the restraints set by 苹果 and 谷歌 is virtually impossible[vi].  

§2 of the Sherman Act outlaws monopolization, attempted monopolization, 和 conspiracy or combination to monopolies[vii]. There are 2 exceptions to 这个 law which was stated in 美国诉 Grinnel Corp, 

  • 那 defendant’s 企业在相关市场上具有垄断权, 
  • 那 被告 has its monopoly powers through means other than superior product, business acumen, or 历史性 accident. [八] 

For 史诗 to successfully ascertain the claim, it 将 have to 给 definitive proof 那 苹果 和 谷歌 are monopolies in 其 respective markets. In the instant 那 is it proved 那 都 the corporations are monopolies in 其 respective markets, 史诗 将 也 have to prove 那 the monopolistic powers rely on the exclusivity they have secured for apps 和 in-app purchases.[ix]  

苹果’s Reply to 史诗’s Lawsuit 

苹果 responded to 史诗’s complaint by taking Fortnite out of the App Store, saying 那 不 只要 is 史诗’s claim 那 the product is a monopoly 不 real, 但 那 CEO Tim Sweeney called for a “special deal”. According to the emails of 苹果’s response to the 史诗 suit, it was alleged 那 史诗 游戏类 had demanded a contractual deal with 苹果, which was actually sought by 史诗’s CEO[X]. 史诗 has 也 filed a plea to permanently or temporarily inject the action which 苹果 has taken against 史诗, i.e. 苹果 banning them from 其 App Store. This was a claim for a temporary restraining order to inject 苹果’s ban on 史诗.[xi] 

苹果 has replied to 史诗 with a 34-page long complaint where they claim 那 the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) has little to no grounds[xii]。要在法庭上发出临时限制令, “TRO要求与临时禁令相同。” 如中所述 Rovio Entertainment Ltd.诉Royal Plush Toys,Inc.[xiii] 临时禁令是“an exceptional relief rarely 给n as a right”. 贝尼塞克诉拉蒙.[xiv] 一般而言,“寻求初步禁令的原告必须声明”: 

  •  他很可能会因功绩而成功;
  • 那 he is likely to suffer irreparable harm on the ground; 
  •  禁制令符合公共利益;  

如中所述 温特诉 自然资源。防御防御董事会[xv].  

史诗 bears the burden of meeting all the winter prongs:  

那y 将 be irreparably harmed 

苹果公司声称,他们声称对Epic造成了无法挽回的伤害,这是自欺欺人的。 “革命性”反托拉斯诉讼可以在不违反具有法律约束力的合同条款的情况下提起,Epic清楚地意识到,添加一个实质上绕过苹果的单独付款方式违反了他们所同意的合同。最重要的是,Epic创建了一个计划中的诉讼,该诉讼具有自己的病毒视频和带有#FreeFortnight标签的广告活动,因此Epic似乎很清楚其行为的后果以及因此而提出的临时禁制令。苹果还表示,这种自残的紧急情况可能会阻止Epic开始遵守其各自合同中规定的规则,但是Epic的目的是免费获得Apple的创新,知识产权和多年用户信任[xvii]

那y have a very probable chance of 赢得反托拉斯索赔 

苹果 claims 那 史诗 has an uphill 战斗 with respect to its anti-trust claims. The App Store has exponentially increased output, reduced prices, 和 dramatically improved consumer choice. 正如第九巡回赛最近宣布的那样, 美国诉微软公司, that the novel business practices especially pertaining to technology should 不 be declared illegal without an elaborate inquiry on the precise nature of the harm the said business has caused.[xviii] In the instant 案件, 史诗 has failed to process a proper inquiry, it has no economic experts backing its broad claim. 史诗 has 也 ignored the fact 那 Fortnite can be played on other platforms 和 by 史诗’s logic many companies like Microsoft, Nintendo, etc. 将 也 fall under 其 definition of monopoly.  

That with the ban on Fortnite from the App Store 将 be the harm in the public interest 

苹果公司提出这样的论点,即公众利益不能也不会对史诗有利。使用禁令作为获得所需合同交易的方式将不可避免地引起一场大火,每个开发人员都将打破合同,随后在精心策划的紧急情况中要求同样的权利。这将使App Store的存在陷入极大的危险,因为这将危及用户的安全,并且所有付款都将绕过Apple。 因此,苹果公司声称这将使其用户成为“最终受害者”,其隐私和安全性将受到损害。[xix]  

为了使Epic对苹果的行为实施临时限制令,它必须满足苹果向光荣的法院提出许多有力论据的所有条件。  在从App Store禁止Fortnite后,与Epic的游戏引擎链接的Epic开发平台(虚幻引擎)受到威胁,将被Apple删除。 这对公司的许可业务构成了严重威胁。史诗管理了一个暂时的限制令,使问题得以解决,但是,虚幻引擎的未来仍然存在, potentially 威胁取决于引擎的第三方游戏的整个生态系统。[xx] 

结论 

此案的主要法律斗争将是建立相关市场的边界,而该市场本质上将充当 基础。 史诗希望相关市场小而简明,即将市场范围限制在各自的范围内 在应用商店中,苹果和谷歌将争夺相关市场,将其归为一类。另一个重大战役是看竞争对手如何避开他们的 独家设置。苹果和谷歌倾向于证明竞争对手可以轻松绕过独家设置,而史诗将倾向于证明实际上不可能绕过现有专有设置。  

If Epic Games succeeds in winning this case, it would be a historic decision that not only impacts 史诗 Games but also a whole host of game developers on Apple and Google Platforms who have been forced to give both Apple and Google a substantial reduction in their sales so far. 苹果’s CEO Tim Cook has already been cornered by the US Antitrust Committee at the recently concluded hearing for its anti-competitive practices 和 这个 诉讼 将 definitely speed things up. This victory could 潜在地 start a wildfire where other 开发商 try 和 hunt down other anti-competitive policies by big corporations. 

本文的引用为:

蓝皮书,第20版:“ 希季吉 Pal, Fortnite goes Rogue: Analysing 史诗’s Lawsuit against 谷歌 和 苹果, 明典网– InfoTech 和 IPR, accessible at //nerdeicek.com/fortnite-goes-rogue-analysing-epics-lawsuit-against-google-and-apple/ .

参考文献:


[一世]高桥院长 史诗s’s 反托拉斯 case against 苹果’s app store monopoly, 创业 Beat (2020年8月13日), //venturebeat.com/2020/08/13/epics-antitrust-case-against-apples-app-store-monopoly/

[ii]伊恩斯 Tech group files complaint against 谷歌’s In-app payment system, 经济 Times (Aug.24,2020), //telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/tech-group-files-complaint-against-googles-in-app-payment-system/77720118

[iii]尼克·斯塔特 苹果 just kicked Fortnite from the App Store, 边缘 (Aug.13, 2020), //www.theverge.com/2020/8/13/21366438/apple-fortnite-ios-app-store-violations-epic-payments

[iv]陈俊杰 了解反托拉斯法, Investopedia(2020年7月31日), //www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/09/antitrust-law.asp

[v] 15 U.S.C§1。

[vi] 坦帕电子。诉Nashville煤炭公司诉365 U.S. 320,327(1961)。

[vii] 15 U.S.C§2。

[viii] 美国诉 Grinnel Corp, 384 U.S. 563,570-571(1966)。

[ix] 塞西莉亚 D’Anastacio, 史诗 游戏’s 诉讼 fire a shot at 苹果 和 谷歌’s App Stores ‘Monopolies’, 有线(2020年8月13日), //www.wired.com/story/epic-games-sues-apple-fortnite-app-store/

[X] 亚历克斯 Castro, 苹果 has finally met it’s Fortnite match, 边缘(8月14日, 2020), //www.theverge.com/2020/8/14/21368651/apple-fortnite-ios-app-store-ban-lawsuit-epic-games-payments

[xi]__, Fortnite: 苹果 ban sparks a court action from 史诗 游戏类, 英国广播公司 (Aug.13, 2020), //www.bbc.com/news/technology-53773715

[xii] 案例4:20-cv-05640-YGR文件36。

[xiii] 罗维奥·恩特姆’t Ltd.诉皇家毛绒玩具公司(Royal Plush Toys,Inc.),编号C 12-05543 LB(2013年5月13日,N.D。Cal。)。

[xiv] Benisek诉Lamon,138 S. Ct。 1942年; 201 发光二极管。 2d 398.

[xv] 温特诉自然资源诉。防御防御板, Inc,129 S. Ct。 365; 172 发光二极管。 2d 249; 2008 美国雷克西斯 8343.

[xvi]阿迪·罗伯逊, 苹果 says 史诗 is ‘putting the entire App Store model at risk’ ,The Verge(2020年8月21日), //www.theverge.com/2020/8/21/21377660/apple-fortnite-epic-antitrust-lawsuit-in-app-purchases-special-deal

[xvii]__, ‘FreeFortnite’ tournament taunts 苹果 amid legal 战斗,新印度 快车(2020年8月22日), //www.newindianexpress.com/business/2020/aug/22/freefortnite-tournament-taunts-apple-amid-legal-battle-2186962.html

[xviii]美国诉Microsoft 公司,253 F.3d 34。

[xix] 案例4:20-cv-05640-YGR文件36。

[xx]尼克·斯塔特 为什么史诗无法负担失去的损失 引擎与苹果的法律对决, 边缘 (Aug.26, 2020), //www.theverge.com/2020/8/26/21402443/epic-fortnite-apple-unreal-engine-ios-game-developers-lawsuit

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