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Supreme Court rejects Epic vs Apple appeals

Epic loses all but one count, order for Apple to drop anit-steering practices stands

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The US Supreme Court has denied requests for appeals from both Epic and Apple, maintaining the ruling from the original antitrust trial in 2021.

A court order, spotted by The Verge, rejects the appeals, meaning that the case is primarily a win for Apple. The only one of Epic's ten counts raised during the case upheld by the courts is for the iOS firm to cease its anti-steering practices, preventing developers to linking to direct payment options that don't involve a 30% fee for Apple.

This ruling was made by Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers in the 2021 trial, but both parties appealed against this; first, via the Ninth Court of Appeals, then later via the Supreme Court.

Apple has delayed making changes to its anti-steering practices while the appeals process continues, but with the Supreme Court's decision, developers should soon be able to direct players to alternative payment systems.

The dispute arose in 2020 when Epic Games introduced a hotfix to Fortnite on iOS that allowed players to buy virtual currency directly from the developer, negating the 30% cut Apple receives from all microtransactions. Apple pulled Fortnite from the App Store, to which Epic responded with an antitrust lawsuit. The same occurred on Android, with Epic also challenging Google.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney commented on the decision via social media, stating that the Supreme Court's decision means "the court battle to open iOS to competing stores and payments is lost in the United States," which he dubbed "a sad outcome for all developers."

Apple may need to implement larger changes in Europe after the European Union's Digital Markets Act comes into effect on March 7, 2024. This new legislation aims to ensure that gatekeepers of core platform services – of which Apple has been designated as one – cannot prioritise their own products and services over those of other companies, and must allow businesses to promote products and services offered outside the gatekeeper's platform.

Epic Games is still challenging Apple in other markets, having filed a similar antitrust lawsuit in Australia. The Fortnite firm also filed in the UK, but this was blocked by the UK Competition Tribunal.

The outcome of Epic vs Apple in the US is in stark contrast with the recent jury decision in the similar Epic vs Google case.

Last month, the jury decided Google is operating an illegal monopoly on Android, most notably when it comes to requiring developers to use its Play store's payment system for all transactions and claiming a 30% fee. Google intends to appeal this decision.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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