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Epic's Tim Sweeney said he would have taken special deal with Apple

Credit: Epic Games

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Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said that he would have taken a special deal with reduced App Store commissions and fees if Apple had offered one to him.

Sweeney was again on the stand Tuesday in the Epic Games v. Apple case. The Epic CEO's testimony started on Monday, during which he was grilled on platform agreements and the scope of "Fortnite."

On Tuesday, Epic's lawyer in the case asked Sweeney if he would have accepted a special deal with reduced app and in-app purchase commissions from Apple.

"If Apple told you the deal would only be with you and no other developers," the lawyer asked. "Would you have accepted that deal?"

"Yes, I would have," Sweeney replied.

That question references Sweeney's prior attempts to negotiate special treatment for "Fortnite" from Apple. The question posed by Epic's lawyer Tuesday seems to be an attempt to downplay the request by making it appear that Apple was unwilling to offer such a deal or negotiate special treatment.

During other portions of Sweeney's cross-examination, the Epic executive said he uses an iPhone for the privacy and security benefits, and also admitted that 30% is an industry standard commission across other app stores. Still, that 30% could hinder the future of "Fortnite."

"The long-term evolution of Fortnite will be opening up Fortnite as a platform for creators to distribute their work to users and creators will make the majority of profits," Sweeney said. "With Apple taking 30% off of the top, it makes it very hard for Epic and creators to exist in this future world."

Another tidbit that surfaced during the trial is the fact that Sweeney had contacted Apple CEO Tim Cook directly in 2015 to call for a more open App Store.

According to documents made public as part of the case and seen by The Verge, Sweeney wrote that "The App Store has done much good for the industry, but it doesn't seem tenable for Apple to be the sole arbiter of expression and commerce over an app platform approaching a billion users."

The Epic CEO then asked Apple to "separate iOS App Store curation from compliance review and app distribution."