Apple’s online market would become a “toxic” mess if the iPhone maker had been forced to allow third-party applications without reviewing them, chief executive Tim Cook told a high-stakes trial Friday challenging the company’s tight control of the platform.
Cook, the last scheduled witness in the case brought by Fortnite machine Epic Video games , offered a robust protection of Apple’s procedures for reviewing and approving all the apps it offers for iPhone and ipad tablet users.
“We could no more make the promise… of privacy, safety and security, ” without complete control of the marketplace, Cook said under questioning from Apple attorney Veronica Moye inside federal court in Ca.
Cook stated Apple’s review process assists in keeping out malicious software and other problematic apps, helping develop a safe place for customers.
Without this particular review, the online marketplace “would become a toxic kind of clutter, ” he said.
“It would also be terrible for the developer, since the developer depends on the store as being a safe and trusted place. ”
Cook’s testimony caps a high-profile trial which opened earlier this month in which Apple company is accused of abusing a monopoly on the marketplace by creating a “walled garden” that squeezes app makers.
World famous, maker of the popular Fortnite video game, is seeking to force Apple to open up the marketplace to third parties seeking to circumvent Apple’s procedures plus commissions of up to 30 percent.
‘Not regarding money’
Under cross-examination, Cook sparred with Epic lawyer Gary Bornstein about the profitability of the App-store.
Cook disputed Epic’s contention that the profit margin on applications was some 80 %, but financial details are not disclosed in court because of confidentiality concerns.
The Apple executive mentioned the proprietary payments program challenged by Epic involved convenience for consumers, over about profits.
“We always put the consumer at the centre of everything we do, ” Cook said. “It has nothing to do with money. ”
During their testimony, Cook defended Apple’s policy of barring apps directing consumers to other platforms to purchase subscriptions or credits for games and other services.
“It will be akin to Best Buy advertising that you can go across the street towards the Apple Store to buy the iphone, ” he said.
But District Court docket Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, in a series of harsh queries for Cook at the end of their testimony, suggested that Apple’s cut is too high even if reduced to 15 percent after the first year.
“It does seem to be disproportionate, ” the appraise told Cook. “After that will first interaction.. the developer is keeping those clients, Apple is just profiting from. ”
Make retorted quickly, “I see it differently, ” and then added: “We are creating the whole amount of commerce on the shop and we are doing that by getting the largest audience there. ”
Apple company does not allow users from the popular devices to down load apps from anywhere nevertheless App Store, and developers have to use Apple’s payment system, which takes its cut.
The Epic attorney also questioned Cook around Apple’s arrangement with Google to be the default search engine for the iPhone maker’s Safari web browser, another area scrutinised by antitrust authorities .
Cook acknowledged that Google pays for this position but added that will Apple made the agreement “in the best interest from the user. ”
The case in Oakland includes Apple feeling pressure from the wide range of app makers over its control of the App-store, which critics say signifies monopolistic behaviour.
The European Union has formally charged Apple of unfairly blending out music streaming rivals based on a complaint brought by Sweden-based Spotify and others, which claim the California team sets rules that favour its own Apple Music.
A recently shaped Coalition for App Fairness, which includes both Spotify plus Epic, have called for Apple company to open up its marketplace, claiming its commission is really a “tax” on rivals.
Closing arguments in the bench trial in Ca were expected early next week, with the judge expected to rule within several weeks.