Epic Games Loses Again in Battle With Apple Over App Store Rules
Epic Games and Apple have been fighting over Apple's App Store rules since 2020, when Epic Games opted to blatantly violate the guidelines that prevent apps from avoiding the in-app purchase system. Epic Games did so with the aim of kicking off a long legal battle, but it has not gone in Epic's favor.
In 2021, the judge overseeing the case sided with Apple, concluding that Apple was not violating antitrust law and was not a monopolist. Epic Games almost immediately appealed the ruling and claimed that the original court "reached the wrong answer" and "made multiple legal errors." Unfortunately for Epic Games, the appeals court today sided with Apple, upholding the original ruling.
According to Bloomberg, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Epic's claims that the App Store rules violate federal antitrust law by not allowing for third-party app marketplaces. This is largely a win for Apple, but the court did also uphold the original court's decision on Apple's anti-steering rules.
Apple was ordered to implement App Store changes that will allow developers to use metadata buttons, links, and other calls to action to direct customers to purchasing mechanisms outside of the App Store, paving the way for developers to implement alternate payment options.
"There is a lively and important debate about the role played in our economy and democracy by online transaction platforms with market power," said the appeals court. "Our job as a federal court of appeals, however, is not to resolve that debate -- nor could we even attempt to do so. Instead, in this decision, we faithfully applied existing precedent to the facts."
Apple has been able to put off making App Store updates until the conclusion of the appeals trial, as Apple had appealed the portion of the ruling that did not go in its favor. Apple will presumably need to make changes to the App Store at some point in the near future to comply with the court's ruling.
According to Apple, the proposed App Store changes could "upset the careful balance between developers and customers provided by the App Store," resulting in irreparable harm to Apple and consumers. Apple also said that it needed time to figure out the "complex and rapidly evolving legal, technological, and economic issues" that the update would cause.
In a statement to MacRumors, Apple said that the decision reaffirms its "resounding victory" against Epic Games.
Today's decision reaffirms Apple's resounding victory in this case, with nine of ten claims having been decided in Apple's favor. For the second time in two years, a federal court has ruled that Apple abides by antitrust laws at the state and federal levels. The App Store continues to promote competition, drive innovation, and expand opportunity, and we're proud of its profound contributions to both users and developers around the world. We respectfully disagree with the court's ruling on the one remaining claim under state law and are considering further review.
Though Apple said that it support the court's decision, the company does disagree with the ruling on the App Store changes, and says that it is "considering further review."
Top Rated Comments
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