Apple Wins Appeal in App Store Case by Fortnite Maker Epic Games
On Monday, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2021 ruling that mostly supported Apple's App Store policies against Epic Games' antitrust challenge. The panel of three judges agreed with the federal judge's decision, rejecting all but one of Epic's claims and stating that Apple does not have monopolistic control over mobile game transactions.
The ongoing dispute between the two companies concerns the level of control that Apple should have over third-party developers in the App Store, which has billions of dollars at stake over software used on more than one billion devices.
Apple has faced similar challenges in the European Union, South Korea, and Japan and has implemented several changes that reduced its control or revenue cut from developers. The Justice Department is also investigating whether Apple favors its own products over third-party developers in its mobile operating system.
In the 2021 trial, Epic had alleged that Apple limited competition by controlling the distribution of third-party apps on the iPhone through its App Store, which requires in-app purchases through its payment system and allows Apple to collect up to 30% of digital revenue. Apple, on the other hand, disputed all monopoly claims, arguing that Epic could distribute videogames in other ways and that a 30% platform fee was an industry standard.