Apple and Epic Games have been facing off in one the closely watched antitrust trials in the technology industry.
The trial has revealed a lot of internal Apple deliberations on negotiations with some of its most important partners. The email threads exhibited in court portrays that Apple regularly engages in negotiations with companies including Netflix, Microsoft, Facebook and even Epic Games itself. The emails show that Apple offered concessions, including front page placement on the App Store, access to exclusive programming features and many more.
In 2018, Netflix was concerned about the number of subscribers paying through Apple who decided to stop subscribing. So, the video streamer wanted to run a test in a few small markets to see what would happen if it stopped accepting in-app purchases. Apple takes a 15% to 30% cut on in-app purchases. This kicked off a series of efforts, including compromises, by Apple to counter it. But in 2018 Netflix discontinued new subscriptions through Apple. This allowed Netflix to bypass Apple’s cut on in-app purchases.
Facebook had a long conflict with Apple over its desire to put social games in its apps. It conflicts with Apple rules over having collections of apps or software in apps. Last year, Facebook ramped up its criticism and said that Apple uses its control over its platform to harm developers and consumers.