Apple Wins Antitrust Battle Against Epic Games, but California Court Rules in Favor of Epic

According to an opinion released by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Apple has emerged victorious in its antitrust battle against Epic Games, the maker of the popular online game Fortnite. The ruling largely upheld the district court’s decision favouring Apple and a lower court’s ruling favouring Epic under California’s unfair competition law.

The lawsuit was initiated in 2020 when Apple kicked Fortnite out of the App Store after Epic began making in-app purchases using its payment system, which allowed it to avoid the up to 30% fees that would have been incurred when using Apple’s own in-app payment system. Epic Games sued Apple for “unfair and anti-competitive conduct” shortly after Fortnite was removed from the App Store.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled in favour of Apple in 2021, stating that Apple does not have a monopoly on the mobile app market. She ordered Epic to pay for violating Apple’s developer agreement and removed anti-steering clauses that barred developers from providing users with information about other forms of in-app payment systems.

In today’s ruling, the district court acknowledged “legal errors on several issues” but deemed them “harmless.” Epic Games also cited a “proposed market definition”, and the existence of “less restrictive alternatives for Apple to achieve procompetitive justification to support the iOS walled garden ecosystem,” but the court found that these could not be proven.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney remained positive despite the ruling, tweeting that “the court’s positive decision to dismiss Apple’s anti-steering clause has allowed iOS developers to launch consumers onto the web and do business directly there.” Sweeney also confirmed that Epic’s mobile app store is ready for launch.

Regardless of the case’s outcome, Apple and Google may be forced to support third-party app stores on iOS and Android in the future. Regulators in other markets are scrutinizing both companies’ app store practices. In reaction to new European Union laws, Apple is apparently planning to enable third-party markets on the iPhone as early as next year. 

Meet Vishak, TechLog360's Content Editor and tech enthusiast. With a Computer Science degree and a passion for all things tech, Vishak delivers the latest in hardware, apps, and games with expertise. Trusted for his in-depth reviews and industry insights, he's your guide to the digital world. Off-duty, he's exploring photography and virtual gaming landscapes.


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