Apple on Thursday told appellate judges that video game maker Epic Games failed to show any legal flaws that would justify overturning a lower court ruling that found the App Store’s core principles did not violate U.S. antitrust laws.
Epic, known for its Fortnight games, lost a trial last year over whether Apple’s payment rules for the app were competitive. The decision found that Apple had good reason to force some app developers, such as Apic, to use its payment system and charge 15 to 30 percent commission on their sales.
Following the ruling, Epic has appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Apple said in a statement Thursday that it had failed to offer a reasonable alternative to Epic App Store policies.
“Epic has forced Apple to abandon the integrated distribution and digital-content delivery model, forcing the App Store to make fundamental changes that, among many other competitive advantages, help protect user safety and privacy,” the court filing said.
Both Apple and Epic are scheduled to file a second round of arguments before the appeal panel’s hearing, probably for next year. In support of Epic’s appeal, the attorney generals of 34 U.S. states and the District of Columbia said in January that Apple was suppressing competition through its mobile app store.
There are external arguments in support of Apple next Thursday. Experts and critics of the lower court’s decision say it’s interesting that the judge found that Apple violated California’s unfair competition laws but not federal antitrust laws.
Similarly, Apple on Thursday questioned in its cross-appeal how it could be liable under state law if its practices were not found to be illegal under federal law.
Thomson Reuters 2022