In the latest development of the Apple vs Epic court case, the former has emerged victorious after the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the tech giant. Epic, a game development company, had sued Apple for issues relating to anti-trust. The Fortnite maker claimed that some of the App Store policies Apple had in place were detrimental to the development of many companies. But similar to the earlier ruling from the district court, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Apple’s favor.
Epic Games had wanted to prove to the court that Apple was restricting app distribution on iOS devices to Apple’s App Store. According to the game producer, Apple broke some rules within California's Unfair Competition Law. Apple allegedly allowed payments on their app store through their processor only. They didn't allow game developers to use their preferred payment methods. According to Epic Games, Apple prevented developers from telling customers about alternative ways to pay on the app store. Apple has already issued a statement once the judgment came in its favor. Apple claimed that the new ruling only shows how much they abided by the anti-trust laws. They also noted that they would be pursuing further redress in court if the need arises.
"Today’s decision reaffirms Apple’s resounding victory in this case, with nine of ten 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. The App Store continues to promote competition, drive innovation, and expand opportunity, and we’re proud of its profound contributions to both users and developers around the world. We respectfully disagree with the court’s ruling on the one remaining claim under state law and are considering further review," Apple stated.
A Major Setback for Epic Games
Losing nine out of the ten claims is a huge setback for Epic Games. The game-producing firm had hoped to ride on the Apple lawsuit to make other major platforms know the importance of obeying antitrust laws. Epic Games also wanted to use the case to make Apple open iOS devices to third-party app stores and payment systems. But the company has lost the case, and even other developers who were hoping for the success of Epic Games would have to wait for another chance to get their points known. Epic Games originally sued Apple in 2020 when they had intentionally violated one of Apple store rules, and that led to the removal of Fortnite from the store. When the case was filed, Apple released a statement in 2020 revealing how Epic Games broke its rules on the App Store.
"Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services," Apple said in the statement.
The ruling was clear that Apple didn't infringe on Epic Games rights." The district court did not clearly err in finding that Epic was injured, err as a matter of law when applying California’s flexible liability standards, or abuse its discretion when fashioning equitable relief," it said.