Apple App Store Policies Upheld by Court in Epic Games Antitrust Challenge – Apple can continue monopoly and massive 30% charges in app store USA (but not in EU)

Apple Inc. won an appeals court ruling upholding its App Store’s policies in an antitrust challenge brought by Epic Games Inc.

Monday’s ruling by the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower-court judge’s 2021 decision largely rejecting claims by Epic, the maker of Fortnite, that Apple’s online marketplace policies violated federal law because they ban third-party app marketplaces on its operating system. The appeals panel upheld the judge’s ruling in Epic’s favor on California state law claims.

The ruling comes as Apple has been making changes to the way the App Store operates to address developer concerns since Epic sued the company in 2020. The dispute began after Apple expelled the Fortnite game from the App Store because Epic created a workaround to paying a 30% fee on customers’ in-app purchases.

“There is a lively and important debate about the role played in our economy and democracy by online transaction platforms with market power,” the three-judge panel said. “Our job as a federal court of appeals, however, is not to resolve that debate — nor could we even attempt to do so. Instead, in this decision, we faithfully applied existing precedent to the facts.”

Apple hailed the outcome as a “resounding victory,” saying nine out of 10 claims were decided in its favor.


Epic Chief Executive Officer Tim Sweeney tweeted that although Apple prevailed, at least the appeals court kept intact the portion of the 2021 ruling that sided with Epic.

“Fortunately, the court’s positive decision rejecting Apple’s anti-steering provisions frees iOS developers to send consumers to the web to do business with them directly there. We’re working on next steps,” he wrote.


Following a three-week trial in Oakland, California, Rogers ordered the technology giant to allow developers of mobile applications steer consumers to outside payment methods, granting an injunction sought by Epic. The judge, however, didn’t see the need for third-party app stores or to push Apple to revamp policies over app developer fees.


US and European authorities have taken steps to rein in Apple’s stronghold over the mobile market. In response to the Digital Markets Act — a new series of laws in the European Union — Apple is planning to allow outside apps as early as next year as part of an update to the upcoming iOS 17 software update, Bloomberg News has reported.


Source: Apple App Store Policies Upheld by Court in Epic Games Antitrust Challenge – Bloomberg

It’s a pretty sad day when an antitrust court runs away from calling a monopoly a monopoly

Robin Edgar

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