The Information reports that the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust probe into Apple is focused, in one example, on the company’s treatment of Roblox which was spotlighted earlier this year during the Epic vs. Apple legal battle.
Roblox allows players to create their own experiences using its proprietary engine, Roblox Studio, which can then be played by other users.
During the trial, Epic described Roblox in part as a collection of numerous other games, something Apple’s rules appear to prohibit. By that logic, Epic argued, it should also be allowed to offer its own game store — which Apple won’t allow. Then Roblox suddenly stopped referring to itself as a game. At the time the company said it had already used the term “experience” to refer to its service, and the change was “consistent with how we’ve evolved our terminology to reflect our realization of the metaverse,” the virtual world it is trying to develop.
The Information report says that the DOJ has now asked Roblox “about the differences between a game and an experience, and why Roblox made the language change.”
The consistency with which Apple enforces its rules is not likely to be the sole basis for an antitrust violation. But if the DOJ can prove that Apple’s selective enforcement is purposeful and aims to disadvantage potential rivals, it could use those findings to support a broader antitrust case.
MacDailyNews Take: This will all shake out over time and, in the end, Apple will be more than fine.
Please help support MacDailyNews. Click or tap here to support our independent tech blog. Thank you!
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]