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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

During concluding arguments in Epic v. Apple Monday, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers expressed qualms with both sides, as they posited contrasting views over whether Apple runs its app store in illegal, anti-competitive ways.

Why it matters: Rogers will decide whether Apple needs to change the way it runs its app store.

  • Closing arguments in the Epic-Apple trial Monday were more of an extended four-hour Q&A session between the judge and the lawyers.

Between the lines: Rogers asked Apple if it faces true competition on iOS.

  • "The 30% number has been there since the inception, and if there was real competition, that number would move, and it hasn't," she said to Apple lawyer Daniel Swanson, citing the cut Apple takes from revenue generated by the sale of apps and in-app-purchases.

Rogers also pressed Epic's attorney to articulate what the proper fix for any anti-competitive app store behavior would be.

  • "I still don't understand where you expect this to go," she said.
  • Epic's side argues that Apple should be required to allow competitive app stores and competitive payment models, though it says Apple could still conduct a review of apps on its store and compete for customers.
  • But it could not cite an example of a private case in which a court ordered such a sweeping change to a large corporation's business.

Apple attorney Richard Doren predicted "absolute mayhem where anything goes" if Epic prevails in its suit against the iPhone maker.

  • Epic lawyer Gary Bornstein replied that Apple’s strategy seemed to be "to scare the court."

What's next: The judge said her recent musing about issuing a verdict by Aug. 13 was a reference to the anniversary of Epic defying Apple with a "Fortnite" update that added a direct payment system.

  • "Not everybody got the joke," she said, adding she could not guarantee she’d be done by that date.

Go deeper

South Korea will be first country to curb Google, Apple app-store payments

Apple iPads at a store in Seoul, South Korea, in February 2021. Photo: Jean Chung/Bloomberg via Getty Images

South Korean lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that will prevent Google and Apple from forcing software developers to use their payment systems for in-app purchases, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The bill, which will become the first law of its kind after it's signed by President Moon Jae-in, threatens to reduce Google and Apple's dominance over app developers and their access to commissions from in-app sales.

Hollywood union reaches deal with studios to avert strike

Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

A Hollywood workers' union reached a tentative deal with studios, networks and streamers that will guarantee better working conditions, meal breaks and increased wages for low-paid workers, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) announced Saturday night.

Why it matters: The deal, which still needs to be ratified by IATSE members, will avert a nationwide strike by film and television workers that was set to start Monday. It would have been the first strike in the union's 128-year history.

Bill Clinton released from hospital following treatment for non-COVID infection

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton was discharged from the University of California, Irvine Medical Center on Sunday, nearly a week after he was admitted for a non-COVID-related infection, according to his spokesperson Angel Ureña.

What they're saying: "His fever and white blood cell count are normalized and he will return home to New York to finish his course of antibiotics," wrote Dr. Alpesh Amin, who has been overseeing the team of doctors treating Clinton. "On behalf of everyone at UC Irvine Medical Center, we were honored to have treated him and will continue to monitor his progress."

Worth noting: Clinton had a urinary tract infection that spread to his bloodstream, per CNN.

  • The California-based medical team had been administering IV antibiotics and fluids, and was in constant communication with Clinton's New York team, including his cardiologist, according to the former president's physicians.
  • President Biden spoke by phone with Clinton on Friday to see how he was doing, and the catch-up included a discussion of recent politics.