US Department of Justice is investigating Apple for antitrust issues, and Roblox is an area of focus for prosecutors trying to build a case, reports Information.
Investigators are looking for situations where Apple applies the rules unevenly to app developers, and Roblox is an area of focus due to how the app works. Roblox is an online gaming platform that allows its users to play and schedule games that can be played with others.
Roblox users can create a variety of mini-games accessible in the main Roblox app, and during the Epic vs. Apple trial, Epic argued that Apple gave Roblox a “free pass” while preventing other apps from doing something similar.
Epic Games equated Roblox with the Epic Games Store, an app that would serve as a third-party alternative to the App Store, giving users access to the games without paying Apple fees. As Epic offers access to major games made by other developers, it’s not quite the same as Roblox games created by Roblox users, but the Roblox app is now in the spotlight.
After appearing in the Epic v. Apple, Roblox has changed its website to make it clear that it offers “experiences” instead of “games,” a change made after Trystan Kosmynka, director of the App Store. Explain that Roblox did not break the App Store rules because Apple did not consider Roblox content “to be a game”. Kosmynka said the “experiences” within Roblox were similar to “experiences in Minecraft,” another game where users can create content similar to a minigame.
The Justice Department has reviewed the details raised by the Epic lawsuit against Apple and recently asked Roblox and other developers to clarify the difference between a game and an experience. Roblox was asked to explain why they changed the language on their website.
Apple Arcade also appears to be of interest, with investigators asking developers whether the “Apple Arcade” game store has made it harder for developers to compete with Apple. The DoJ is also investigating complaints that Apple has restricted location access for third-party apps while allowing its own apps and services full access to location data.
In October, the DoJ accelerated its antitrust investigation into Apple, and Apple is likely to face antitrust lawsuit. The DoJ is still collecting information at this time, and it’s unclear when Apple could face a legal battle.
The App Store is undergoing some changes that will impact any antitrust investigation. Apple has already agreed to allow developers to use communication methods such as email to advertise payment options available outside of iOS apps, and Apple could be forced to make even more drastic updates to it. App Store this week.
In Epic v. Apple, the judge in charge of the case ordered Apple to stop banning developers from including “in their applications and their metadata buttons, external links or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms “. Apple asked for more time to implement the changes, but was refused. The matter has been referred to a Ninth Circuit appeals court, and if Apple doesn’t get a suspension by December 9, the company will have to comply with the original ruling.