Apple has announced its intention to approach the US Supreme Court with a renewed appeal to avoid changing payment methods on its proprietary App Store. In 2021, US District judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers issued an order that stated Apple could not prevent third-party developers and publishers from offering links to marketplaces outside the Apple App Store – a ruling which was partially brought by Epic Games.
In late 2020, Epic Games sued Apple in an effort to circumvent the steep 30% platform fees of its App Store, which had reduced the company’s capacity to monetise its most popular games, including Fortnite. While the lawsuit concluded that Apple had not violated federal antitrust law by disallowing alternate marketplaces on iOS, the court did declare the company couldn’t prevent outside links and buttons.
At the time, it was determined that this ruling could potentially decrease sales commissions earned by Apple.
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Per Reuters, this court decision was recently challenged in the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, with judges upholding the ruling against Apple. Epic Games had also reportedly urged a revisitation of the decision, to push its antitrust claims against Apple forward.
Apple now claims the 9th Circuit ‘reached too far’ in its decision to implement its ruling against Apple, and that it will issue a petition in the Supreme Court to address ‘far-reaching and important’ questions about the 9th Circuit and its power in the United States.
‘The district court issued a sweeping injunction prohibiting Apple from enforcing its anti-steering rules against all developers of iOS apps offered for distribution in the United States, even though the sole named plaintiff (Epic Games, Inc.) did not seek or obtain class certification, and did not prove that an injunction running in favor of non-parties was necessary to make it whole,’ Apple‘s legal representation said in its appeal.
There is no timeline on the appeal process for Apple.