Epic Games, the creator of popular game Fortnite, has taken its legal battle against Apple to the highest court in the land. On Wednesday, the gaming company filed a cert petition with the Supreme Court, asking them to reexamine whether Apple’s App Store fees violate federal antitrust laws. This move sets the stage for a potential reopening of a lengthy legal dispute that has spanned nearly five years.
Epic Games has escalated its legal battle against Apple by filing a cert petition with the Supreme Court. This move could lead to a reevaluation of whether Apple’s App Store fees violate federal antitrust laws. While previous rulings have mostly favored Apple, the ongoing legal fight highlights the broader debate surrounding the tech giant’s control over its software marketplace. The outcome of this case could have significant implications for the app ecosystem and competition within the mobile industry.
The Origin of the Dispute
The legal feud between Epic Games and Apple began in 2020 when Epic sued Apple after Fortnite was removed from the App Store. Epic intentionally violated Apple’s guidelines by offering players a direct payment method for in-game currency, bypassing Apple’s fees. This action sparked Epic’s crusade against Apple’s software practices and ignited a campaign to rally developers against the incumbent company.
Previous Legal Battles
In an appeals court fight earlier this year, Apple emerged largely victorious. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a previous ruling that dismissed most of Epic’s claims, stating that Apple did not violate federal antitrust laws by limiting alternative software markets on iOS. However, the court did find that Apple violated California’s Unfair Competition Law by prohibiting developers from informing consumers about alternative payment options.
The Latest Move
With the case now heading to the Supreme Court, Epic Games has requested that developers be allowed to direct iPhone users to payment options outside of Apple’s ecosystem. However, this request was denied by Justice Elena Kagan in August, meaning that Apple’s rules will remain in effect unless the Supreme Court decides to intervene.