Supreme Court rejects Epic v. Apple antitrust case2024-01-16 14:25 by Daniela
Tags: Epic Games, Apple
The Supreme Court has denied both Apple and Fortnite maker Epic Games' request to appeal a lower court's ruling on the alleged anticompetitive nature of Apple's App Store. The decision to not hear the case was a bit of a surprise, given that a jury trial recently found Google guilty in a similar antitrust battle with Epic.
With the nation's highest court refusing to weigh in on Apple's status, that means the original ruling still stands. Apple had largely won its case, as the judge decided that Apple had not engaged in anticompetitive practices. However, there was one area where Apple would have to cede ground to developers, the court had ruled - it said that app makers should be able to steer their customers to the web from links inside their apps.
The Supreme Court has denied a request to hear an antitrust dispute between Apple and Fortnite publisher Epic Games. It rejected two petitions, one from each company, this morning - leaving the case largely, but not entirely, a win for Apple.
Epic v. Apple began in 2020 after Epic implemented its own payment system for Fortnite's virtual currency, bypassing Apple's commission on in-app purchases. Apple banned Epic from its iOS App Store and Epic filed a lawsuit in response, claiming the App Store - and Apple's overall walled-garden approach to iOS - violated US antitrust laws. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers rejected most of Apple's claims and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals largely affirmed the decision.
Even so, both rulings found that Apple had acted anticompetitively by barring developers from telling users about other payment methods. Apple was ordered to let them allow links and other "calls to action" that would bypass Apple's payment system, discontinuing what are known as anti-steering policies. But the company spent years delaying parts of the change with legal appeals, winning a reprieve while the Supreme Court considered the case. Today's denial seemingly runs out that clock, requiring Apple to reconsider the future of its anti-steering rules.
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