U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear the Epic v Apple antitrust case

The United States Supreme Court refuses weigh in on the Epic v Apple antitrust case, will not hear Apple's appeals challenge to anti-steering injunction.

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The highest courts in the United States refuses to weigh in on a landmark gaming case, signalling the final end to the ongoing Epic v Apple trial.

U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear the Epic v Apple antitrust case 1

In 2020, shortly after breaking the App Store's terms of service, Epic Games sued Apple for alleged antitrust violations. Without warning, Epic had circumvented the App Store's payment system, instead allowing Fortnite players on iOS to buy digital goods directly from Epic themselves. Apple then pulled Fortnite as a response. Epic sued Apple following Fortnite's ouster from the App Store, citing that Apple was exerting monopolistic control over its app store.

Nearly 4 years of antitrust litigation ensued, leading to an appeals injunction ruling that forces Apple to change its policies. App developers can now inform users of other ways to buy digital goods and content. Predictably, Apple isn't happy about this ruling, and tried to challenge the appeals injunction at the Supreme Court. Epic was likewise not satisfied and also wanted to challenge the ruling.

As of yesterday, U.S. Supreme Court justices have declined to hear the matter, leaving the dust to settle on the case. The previous rulings made by District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in 2021 now stand.

"The Supreme Court denied both sides' appeals of the Epic v. Apple antitrust case. The court battle to open iOS to competing stores and payments is lost in the United States. A sad outcome for all developers," Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said.

It's estimated that Apple made over $15 billion from gaming in 2021 despite having not released any games themselves. This revenue is recognized by the 30% fee that Apple charges game developers, and it's also believed that Apple enjoys very high profit margins on its bustling app store.

Although the policies have been changed, the new purchase model will still be taxed by Apple. The iPhone giant has since offered a compliance plan that will charge developers a fee on all purchases that are made off of the App Store platform. The fee is 27% instead of the 30% blanket commission that Apple charges on the App Store.

It's unlikely that we'll see Fortnite return to the App Store any time soon.

Epic v Apple trial outcome

Epic Games

  • What Epic won - Apple forced to allow third-party payments on App Store
  • What Epic lost - App Store policies do not violate antitrust law

Apple

  • What Apple won - Not forced to upend 30% App Store fees
  • What Apple lost - Devs can now notify gamers of cheaper in-game purchase options available off of the App Store platform
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NEWS SOURCES:reuters.com, twitter.com

Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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