Apple Seeks Supreme Court Review of App Store Case Ruling
Apple disclosed on Monday its plan to implore the U.S. Supreme Court to review a judge's ruling in an antitrust lawsuit filed by Epic Games, the creators of "Fortnite". This decision, if not overturned, could require Apple to significantly alter its App Store payment operations.
Legal Tussle: Apple Appeals 9th Circuit Court Decision
The tech giant revealed in its court filing that it would appeal the recent judgment by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco. This court had largely maintained the order given by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers (NYSE: ROG) in 2021.
The Contested Order: External Payment Links and Buttons
Judge Rogers' ruling prohibited Apple from preventing developers from embedding links or buttons in their apps for payment methods outside of the App Store. This decision might significantly reduce the commission Apple receives from app sales.
Epic Games Fight Against Apple's App Fees
In 2020, Epic Games, challenging the fees Apple imposes on in-app purchases, sued the tech titan. Epic sought an injunction to halt this practice rather than financial compensation. However, Judge Rogers dismissed most of Epic's claims but did issue the contested order that Apple now challenges.
9th Circuit's April Decision Stands Firm Despite Appeals
Both Epic and Apple presented appeals to the 9th Circuit, challenging crucial aspects of the judge's ruling that worked in Apple's favor. Despite their attempts, the court upheld the majority of Judge Rogers' decision in April. This Friday, the 9th Circuit dismissed requests from both Apple and Epic to reconsider its April judgment.
Apple and Epic Take Their Case to Supreme Court
Just as Apple can, Epic Games also has the option to request the Supreme Court to review their appeal. In their appeal to the 9th Circuit, Epic attempted to reignite its antitrust allegations against Apple, focusing on the company's restrictive app distribution and payment services.
Apple Questions the Reach of 9th Circuit's Nationwide Injunction
Apple's legal team argued in Monday's filing that the 9th Circuit's nationwide injunction against them, alleging violation of California's state unfair competition law, was an overstep. According to Apple, their Supreme Court petition will bring up "far-reaching and important" questions regarding the authority of judges to issue such extensive injunctions.