Epic Games has appealed the judgment of the Epic vs. Apple lawsuit at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The filing claims that the court made errors in finding the Cupertino tech giant in compliance with the Sherman Act, and non-monopolistic in reference to app distribution and in-app purchases on iOS App Store.
In September 2021, the U.S. District presiding Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ended a year-long legal battle between Epic Games and Apple with a ruling which did not find Apple in violation of antitrust law by charging a commission for in-app purchases via its App Store. However, the judge ruled that Apple’s anti-steering policy is anticompetitive and ordered it to allow developers to add links to alternative payment methods, along with ordering Epic to pay $6 million in damages to the tech giant.
Epic Games reiterates the same legal argument against Apple in its appeal at the Ninth Circuit
In its opening brief in the appeal of the Epic vs. Apple case, the developer used the same legal argument against Apple as it did during the trial. In addition to claiming that the court made errors, Epic argued that alternative app stores on the iOS platform will give consumers a choice to buy apps directly from the developers at a lower price.
Absent these restrictions, iPhone users and app developers could use alternative app stores, and users could get apps directly from developers. Developers could procure payment mechanisms with additional features and lower costs for their apps. Epic wants to but cannot compete with Apple to fulfill that demand by providing an iPhone app store and in-app payment solution. Epic would charge developers much less than Apple’s 30% commission, increasing innovation and reducing costs.
Apple prevents Epic and other potential competitors from offering those choices. That is why Epic brought this antitrust suit. The district court’s factual findings make clear that Apple’s conduct is precisely what the antitrust laws prohibit.
The appeal is seeking a reversal of the judgment in the Epic vs. Apple case with finding the Cupertino tech giant in violation of the Sherman Act.
The district court’s judgment on Epic’s Sherman Act claims should be reversed and judgment of liability entered in Epic’s favor with a remand to determine the appropriate injunctive remedy. The district court’s judgment on Apple’s breach of contract and declaratory judgment counterclaims should be reversed and judgment entered in Epic’s favor.
Epic’s appeal is made at a time when Apple is facing antitrust bills to allow sideloading (alternative app stores) on the iOS platform. South Korea has already forced the tech giant to allow alternative payment methods on iOS. Click here to read Epic’s complete appeal.
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