Partner Donald Pepperman was quoted by Law360 in a June 1st article about video games as an antitrust target. “I think there’s potentially going to be market power issues,” he said in respect to whether consumers are forced to use a platform.
Closed gaming “ecosystems” have generated a flurry of antitrust suits across the video game space, with the platform owner exerting near-total control over the applications and content provided and often charging a 30% commission.
Digital-only distribution is not the issue. “A monopolist is entitled to set or change its mode of distribution,” Pepperman said. Instead the questions revolve around how monopoly is defined and the intellectual property value-add of the platforms’ apps. A major case that will affect how these lawsuits are resolved is the Epic Games v. Apple Inc. bench trial.
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