Apple Wins Against Epic Games in Appeals Court Ruling

25th April 2023
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On Monday, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of Apple in its ongoing lawsuit with Epic Games, signaling that Apple wins over the App Store and the fees it charges developers are unlikely to change significantly. The ruling comes after Epic Games sued Apple for violating antitrust laws, following the game maker’s introduction of its own payment system into Fortnite, breaking Apple’s rules, and ultimately leading to the game’s removal from the App Store.

Apple Spokesman Responds

An Apple spokesman welcomed the decision, stating that “today’s decision reaffirms Apple’s resounding victory in this case.” The company added that “for the second time in two years, a federal court has ruled that Apple abides by antitrust laws at the state and federal levels.”

App Store Fees and Rules Remain Unchanged

The App Store is the sole source for selling iPhone apps to consumers, and Apple maintains tight control over it. Apple takes up to 30% of all digital sales within iPhone apps, and the store remains a critical source of profit for the company. While app and game developers have long expressed dissatisfaction with the rules and fees, the appeals court’s decision means that they will remain unchanged.

Appeals Court Ruling and Apple’s Legal Feasibility

The appeals court mainly found that Apple did not breach antitrust laws by banning competing app marketplaces on iPhones. However, it did not overturn the decision that allowed developers to place links within their apps, permitting users to purchase items outside the App Store. According to Apple, this is the one claim that the court did not decide in its favor. The ruling represents a victory for Apple, but the larger battle against App Store fees and regulations is expected to continue.

Epic Games’ CEO Response

Epic Games CEO Sweeney stated that “Apple prevailed at the 9th Circuit Court.” He added that “fortunately, the court’s positive decision rejecting Apple’s anti-steering provisions frees iOS developers to send consumers to the web to do business with them directly there.”

Further Actions and Legal Fees

Apple is reportedly considering further actions, including an appeal to the Supreme Court. The decision on whether Epic Games will pay Apple’s legal fees will be made in a lower court.

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