Apple has mostly won its multi-year legal battle with Epic Games, claiming victory in an appeal against the Fortnite developer regarding a dispute over App Store rules. The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld that Apple's decision to not allow other app stores on its iOS devices was not anti-competitive.
In February 2022, 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 from suggesting other payment methods to customers.
The case began in 2020 when Epic Games introduced an in-game payment system for Fortnite that bypassed Apple's payment system. App Store terms state all developers must give Apple 30% of all revenue they make. As long as the freemium Fortnite was in 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 preventing companies from offering other ways to purchase within their apps.
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. Defending the App Store, Apple maintains that its measures ensure a secure app marketplace that focuses on quality and privacy.
Court Rules in Favor of Apple Again
Both parties appealed the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which issued its decision on April 24, 2023. The appeals court affirmed most of the lower court's findings, agreeing that Apple did not violate antitrust laws by banning other app stores on iOS devices.
The appeals court also agreed that Apple could not prevent developers from linking to external payment methods within their apps. The court said that this decision was necessary to prevent Apple from engaging in anti-competitive conduct and harming consumers.
CNBC reports that an Apple spokesperson welcomes the result:
“Today's decision reaffirms Apple's resounding victory in this case, with nine of 10 claims having been decided in Apple's favor. For the second time in two years, a federal court has ruled that Apple abides by antitrust laws at the state and federal levels.”
Tip of the day: After years of hefting a laptop around, you inevitably build up a menagerie of Wi-Fi networks. For the most part, they'll sit on your PC, hardly used, but at times a change in configuration can make it difficult to connect to a network your computer already remembers. At this point, it can be beneficial to make Windows forget a Wi-Fi network and delete its network profile.