Back in September, the court battle between Apple and Epic Games reached a controversial end. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers decided in favor of Apple on nine of ten counts but found against Apple on its anti-steering practices. It was a sweeping win for Apple, although the company was prevented from stopping developers suggesting other payment methods to customers.
Alongside an appeal from Epic Games, 35 states, Microsoft, and the Department of Justice (DoJ) have filed disputes about the ruling. All focus on a misinterpretation of the Sherman Act, a law that helps to prevent monopolies.
“The district court’s holding creates a paralyzing paradox: Once a firm acquires market power and unilaterally imposes a contract, then it is no longer subject to Section 1. Affirming this paradox would gut the Sherman Act and prevent the Amici States from enforcing antitrust violations by large firms that harm their citizens,” claims the filing by the attorneys general representing the 35 states.
Microsoft has been critical of Apple’s practices and voices support for Epic Games during the first legal tussle is also making a filing:
“Apple uses its control over an essential component of modern communications technology — now the phones, rather than the phone network — to interfere with how its customers may deal with third parties in other markets,” said Microsoft in its briefing.
Furthermore, the company says upholding the ruling would impact innovation and harm customers:
“Consumers and innovation will suffer — indeed, they already have. The district court’s reasoning failed to give sufficient weight to these immense competitive risks and, if broadly affirmed, could insulate Apple from meritorious antitrust scrutiny and embolden further harmful conduct.”
Apple vs Epic Games
Apple’s position stems from an issue with the popular Fortnite game violating the terms of the App Store.
Those terms state all developers must give Apple 30% of all revenue they make. As long as the freemium Fortnite was on the store, it was paying this revenue. However, Epic also provides users a way to play the game through their own website. This violates Apple’s terms, with the Cupertino giant stopping dev’s from offering alternatives.
Apple hit Fortnite with a ban from the store and Epic hit back by suing the company for antitrust monopoly practices. Microsoft took the side of Epic Games following its own complaints against Apple.
Tip of the day: When using your Windows 10 laptop or convertible with a mobile hotspot you might want to limit the Internet bandwidth your PC uses. In our tutorial we are showing you how to set up a metered connection in Windows 10 and how to turn it off again, if needed.