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Epic files appeal to Supreme Court in antitrust case against Apple

Epic and Apple seek an audience with the Supreme Court as their yearslong legal war continues.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

September 28, 2023

2 Min Read
Logo for the Epic Games Store.

Along with laying off hundreds of employees, Epic Games remains embroiled in a years-long legal battle with Apple. Recently, the Unreal Engine creator filed a writ of certiorari asking the US Supreme Court to review its lower court ruling made during the antitrust case between the two developers. 

In April, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Epic's claims that Apple had been engaging in antitrust practices. Epic now wants the Supreme Court to clarify points in the antitrust law the Ninth Court used to declare its verdict. 

Under its writ, Epic argues the antitrust law is "unlawful if a ‘less-restrictive alternative’ will achieve the same benefits while harming competition less." It wants the Supreme Court to determine if such an alternative can be free from Apple and should it not exist, invalidate the law if "harm to competition substantially outweighs the restraint’s procompetitive justification."

Epic has been doggedly pursuing an appeal since that initial Ninth Court ruling, with CEO Tim Sweeney at the time saying it "isn't a win for developers or consumers."

Fittingly, Apple has responded to Epic's recent actions by asking the Supreme Court to throw out the Ninth Court's order that would require it to let up on some restrictions in regards to third-party payments. Apple said in April it "respectfully disagreed" with that ruling at the time and would work to have it removed.

At the same time, Apple has yet to fully follow through on the Ninth Court's ruling regarding those restrictions. It's made gradual steps toward those changes in the US and Europe, with non-Apple app stores being permitted to exist on its ecosystem starting in 2024 for the latter region.

Currently, the Supreme Court has yet to decide whether or not it will hear the case from Epic and Apple. While the latter's filing is presently unavailable at time of writing, Epic's can be read here.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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