Judge Gonzalez wants the proceedings to be held in-person, and will require all witnesses to travel to Northern California to answer questions before the judge. Gonzales says she believes the case is important enough that the court should hear the case in person, and that witnesses are less likely to lie when sworn in at a physical courtroom.
The court will take into consideration health considerations for witnesses that are medically able to travel to California, but the court will investigate when people say they cannot visit the courtroom in person.
Judge Gonzalez said the people and companies involved in the trial have the available resources to quarantine for two weeks following the trial. Measures will be put in place to keep participants safe, including only allowing a limited number of people in the courtroom. Social distancing will be observed, and witnesses will be given enough space to allow witnesses to speak clearly without masks.
Depending on the COVID-19 numbers in May, the in-person trial plans could be thrown out, but the judge wants the case to go forward in May, even if it needs to be held entirely over Zoon. Although Epic Games is pushing for a four to five-week trial, the judge wants to limit it to two to three weeks.
At the core of the legal battle is how much control and revenue share Apple and Google should have in relation to popular apps. Epic Games’ online game “Fortnite” was removed from both Apple’s App Store and Alphabet Inc.’s Google Play Store last year after Epic introduced a payment system that replaced the traditional in-app purchases system that allowed Apple and Google to take a 30% share of users’ spending that they had charged Epic.
Epic Games will attempt to show that the 30% cut Apple takes from apps and in-app purchases is “oppressive” as is the requirement for developers to use in-app purchase mechanisms put in place by Apple. Meanwhile, Apple will be attempting to prove that App Store prices are fair and in line with its competitors and that the App Store policies currently in place offer protection for App Store users.