Epic Games petitions the Supreme Court to review whether Apple’s App Store operations violate monopoly

In response to the prior litigation dispute between Apple and Epic Games, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rendered a verdict affirming that Apple did not breach antitrust regulations, thus upholding the initial court’s decision. However, Epic Games has recently petitioned the Supreme Court, seeking a reevaluation of whether Apple’s App Store operations infringe upon antitrust laws.

This move indicates a continuation of the legal battle between Epic Games and Apple. It is plausible that Apple might also file a petition challenging parts of the court’s ruling favorable to Epic Games, specifically where the court determined that Apple’s restriction on developers offering additional payment options to users undermines fair competition.

The litigation between Epic Games and Apple commenced when, in 2020, Epic Games directed iOS users of “Fortnite” to an external payment page, circumventing in-app purchases and consequently the fees Apple would acquire under the guise of platform services. Apple contended that Epic Games deliberately breached the App Store’s terms of service. In contrast, Epic Games accused Apple of compromising fair market competition and even rallied industry opposition against Apple’s practices.

Should the court mandate that Apple permit apps to process payments through third-party channels, it would disrupt Apple’s revenue model derived from in-app purchase commissions. Hence, Apple has recently appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Apple’s appointed attorneys have asserted in their appeal documents that the court’s ruling extends beyond the scope of the Apple-Epic Games litigation and exceeds the jurisdiction of the district court. As such, they hope the Supreme Court will declare the prior district court’s judgment null and void.