Epic appeals court ruling that won Apple a narrow victory


Epic Games has filed a notice appealing a federal judge’s ruling in a lawsuit alleging that Apple operates an illegal monopoly that stifles competition.

Popular video game maker Fortnite said in a court filing on Sunday that it would take the decision to the San Francisco Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a 185-page ruling on Friday, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ordered Apple to dismantle a lucrative part of the competitive barricade that protected its iPhone app store, but she dismissed Epic’s claims that Apple would have a monopoly.

Epic’s notice of appeal said it would appeal the final judgment “and all orders leading or producing that judgment.”

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The move continues to undermine the so-called “walled garden” that Apple has built around its crown jewel, the iPhone, and its app store, without completely overthrowing it.

The decision also provided Apple with some justification. The judge did not call Apple a monopoly or require it to allow competing stores to offer apps for iPhone phones, iPad devices and iPods.

These were two of the main goals pursued by Epic, which filed what it hoped was a landmark antitrust case last year after brazenly challenging a proprietary payment system that channels 15-30% of all digital transactions. in the app on iPhone gadgets. Apple.

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These transactions can include everything from Netflix or Spotify subscriptions to the sale of digital items such as songs, movies, or virtual tchotchkes for video games. Epic touted the lucrative fee as a price-hike tactic that wouldn’t be possible if competing stores were allowed to carry iPhone apps.

While parts of his ruling raised questions about whether Apple’s fees drive up prices for consumers, Gonzalez Rogers left the pricing structure intact and upheld the company’s right to prevent others. stores to offer applications for his iPhone. She sided with Apple on all the other key points of the affair.

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But the judge found that Apple was engaging in unfair competition under California law, prompting it to order the company to allow developers in the United States to link to other options. payment than his in the iPhone applications. This change would make it easier for app developers to avoid paying Apple’s commissions, potentially affecting billions of dollars in revenue each year.

Apple has done its best to present the decision as a complete victory, although it has acknowledged that it may appeal the part of the decision that will make it easier for app developers to bypass Apple’s commissions.