The Epic Games v. Apple trial is starting today, and it has begun with a court conference call full of kids screaming for Fortnite to return to mobile. The public call line allows anyone to dial in and listen to today’s proceedings, but the court didn’t manage to properly mute all participants for more than 20 minutes. The result was what sounded like a chaotic Discord call.
More than 200 participants were dialed into the public line, with many screaming “free Fortnite” or “bring back Fortnite on mobile please judge.” Others played Travis Scott tunes, chatted away, or advertised their YouTube channels.
The trial was supposed to begin at 11:15AM ET, and court clerks could be heard attempting to mute participants multiple times unsuccessfully. At 11:30AM ET, silence finally fell on the line in preparation for the court to hear Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney today.
Epic is trying to “undo” Apple’s home-grown marketplace that has given rise to lucrative app businesses and earned consumer trust, Apple attorney Karen Dunn said at the start of an antitrust trial Monday in Oakland, California.
Apple is facing a backlash from global regulators and some app developers who say its standard App Store fee of 30% and others policies are unfair and designed to benefit the iPhone maker’s own services. The fight with Epic blew up in August when the game maker told customers it would begin offering a discounted direct purchase plan for items in Fortnite, and Apple then removed the game app, cutting off access for more than a billion iPhone and iPad customers.
“Epic is here, demanding that this court force Apple to let into its App Store untested and untrusted apps and app stores, which is something Apple has never done,” Dunn told U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who is hearing the case without a jury. “Apple’s unwavering commitment to safety, security, reliability and quality does not allow that, and the antitrust laws do not require it.”
The trial, which is expected to run for three weeks, Gonzalez Rogers called the case “high stakes” and said it raises “difficult issues.”