Despite winning a key count in its lawsuit against Apple, Epic’s appeal of the ruling on Sunday made clear that it didn’t view the decision as much of a victory. For Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, winning wasn’t just about extracting a concession from Apple on purchase fees or even about being allowed to launch a competing mobile app store. It was about the metaverse.
By failing to make the case that Apple is an antitrust monopolist, Epic did not secure any protections against the kinds of platform-holder domination it fears could take root in the metaverse. The all-encompassing and immersive nature of the metaverse could see specially privileged payment options like Apple’s reap profits across a much wider range of devices and interconnected digital spaces than is the case in the mobile device market.