The Legal Battle Between Epic Games and Apple Has Come To a Close

The lawsuit initiated by Epic Games against Apple in August 2020 has finally come to an end, with Apple emerging victorious on 9 out of 10 claims. The US Ninth Court of Appeal has upheld Judge Rogers’ rulings made in September 2021.

Details of the ruling from TechCrunch:

According to TechCrunch, an appeals court panel has upheld the district court’s denial of antitrust liability and rejection of Epic’s illegality defense to Apple’s breach of contract counter-claim.

The panel did note that the district court had erred in defining the relevant antitrust market and in holding that Apple’s DPLA fell outside of the scope of the Sherman Act.

However, the errors were deemed “harmless” and Epic had failed to establish its proposed market definition or any substantially less restrictive alternative means for Apple to accomplish the procompetitive justifications supporting iOS’s ecosystem.

The panel also upheld the district court’s ruling in favor of Epic within the scope of California’s Unfair Competition Law, requiring anti-steering changes. Apple has not yet appealed this part of the decision.

Finally, the appeals court ruled that the district court had erred when it ruled that Apple was not entitled to attorney fees related to the DPLA breach of contract claims.

Although Apple did not win across all fronts, they were found to be in breach of California’s Unfair Competition law. This decision is a major victory for developers, as it grants them the ability to connect with external payment systems.

Summarized from CNBC 2021 ruling coverage:

The first part of the battle between the two companies regarding Apple’s App Store policies and their impact on competition has come to a close with a decision. Apple emerged victorious in nine out of ten counts, but the company was found to be engaging in anticompetitive behavior under California law. As a result, Apple will have to modify its App Store policies and loosen its control over in-app purchases. This injunction will take effect in December.

According to Rogers, the judge who made the ruling, Apple’s anti-steering provisions conceal vital information from consumers and unlawfully restrict consumer choice. In conjunction with Apple’s emerging antitrust violations, these anti-steering provisions are anticompetitive, and a nationwide solution to eliminate them is necessary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *