Epic Games’ legal battle against Cupertino tech giant’s App Store policies in the United States came to an end on Friday, September 10. However, unsatisfied with the ruling the developer has filed an appeal against the verdict on Sunday, September 12, 2021.
Epic went to court to prove Apple has created an App Store monopoly by forcing developers to comply with its unfair and anti-competitive rules and it wanted the court to open the iOS by allowing Epic to offer its own app store for Fortnite on the platform. Neither did the court agree with the developer’s definition of monopoly, it also did not allow sideloading on the iOS.
U.S. District presiding Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers found Epic Games in violation of its contract and ordered it to pay Apple $12,167,719 in damages. She vindicated Apple by stating that it is not a monopolist.
Having defined the relevant market as digital mobile gaming transactions, the Court next evaluated Apple’s conduct in that market. Given the trial record. The Court cannot ultimately conclude that Apple is a monopolist under either federal or state antitrust laws. While the Court finds that Apple enjoys considerable market share of over 55% and extraordinarily high profit margins, these factors alone do not show antitrust conduct. Success is not illegal.
Epic Games vows to continue fighting for fair competition on mobile platform
Currently, the content of Epic Games’ appeal is unknown. But the company’s CEO Tim Sweeney has taken to Twitter to express its position. He wrote that although they have lost a court case, they have gone ahead in gaining freedom for developers and consumers in software. In addition, Mr. Sweeney also declared that the fight will continue on until the aforementioned objective is achieved.
Today: Lost a court case, climbed a mountain, read hundreds of pages of legal papers, wrote some code. Just as determined as ever to fight on until there is genuine developer and consumer freedom in software, and fair competition in each mobile platform software component. pic.twitter.com/5PWD6va6mz
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) September 11, 2021
It is likely that the developer will try to convince another judge that Apple has a monopoly and it should be allowed to offer its won app store, so Fortnite players can purchase items at a reduced price.
Having said that, Judge Rogers has ordered Apple to allow direct links to third-party websites in apps on the App Store which excludes Apple from charging its 15% to 30% commission for in-app purchases. The company might lose a few billion dollars annually, but it has won a larger objective to prevent sideloading on its iOS platform. Apple had agreed to these App Store terms in a settlement with U.S. developers, prior to the ruling of Epic Games’ case.