The trial between Apple and Epic Games may have received an initial verdict before the end of 2021, but things are not done. Not by a long shot, really. Apple is already appealing the initial decision in its part. And now Epic is doing the same thing.
As first reported today by Bloomberg, Epic Games is officially moving forward with an appeal in the initial verdict handed down in 2021. The new filing has been submitted to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, hoping that it can have the initial verdict overturned. The reasoning? Epic believes Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers “erred” in the initial verdict, specifically as it relates to Apple’s current monopolistic behavior.
Interestingly, that’s the real focus here. The initial verdict handed down by the judge ruled that Apple needs to change how developers are able to provide in-app payment options, allowing for new third-party alternatives. In the same verdict, though, Judge Gonzalez Rogers also ruled that Apple does not hold a monopoly in the market.
Epic Games does not agree with this position, though, and argues that Apple does, in fact, hold that monopoly. Per today’s report:
Epic told the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that a lower-court judge ‘erred’ in finding that App Store rules and restrictions didn’t violate antitrust law. Epic had shown that ‘Apple unlawfully maintains its monopolies in the iOS app distribution and in-app payment solutions markets by expressly excluding all competitors,’ the game maker said in its filing. Moreover, Apple has ‘ample economic power to coerce developers” into using its own payment system, Epic said.
Epic asked the court to overrule the ruling and send the case back to U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, California, with instructions on how to address issues raised in its antitrust suit. ‘If not reversed, this decision would upend established principles of antitrust law and, as the district court itself recognized, undermine sound antitrust policy,’ the game maker said in its filing.
Unsurprisingly, Epic Games also notes in the filing that the Mac platform (macOS) exists, and it shows that Apple has alternatives for app purchases and installations.
There’s no way of knowing when this will all die down. But, it won’t be anytime soon.