The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear Epic Games v. Apple antitrust appeal on October 21. The Fortnite maker will try to argue that Apple must be considered a monopoly, while the iPhone maker will challenge the court’s decision.
This information came from a Foss Patents report, saying that each party will have 20 minutes to make oral arguments.
“It’s a cross-appeal as Epic is appealing the dismissal of its federal antitrust claims under the Sherman Act, while Apple is appealing the consolation prize Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers handed Epic in the form of an anti-anti-steering injunction under California state law (Unfair Competition Law),” the blog’s creator Florian Mueller explained.
There are other parties, besides Apple and Epic Games, that might participate in the hearing:
- The US Department of Justice, which launched its own investigation into Apple over competition concerns in the app store market and backed an antitrust bill to prevent tech giants from favoring their products;
- An attorney speaking on the behalf of 34 US states and the District of Columbia, which sided with Epic Games and accused Apple of monopolizing “app distribution and in-app payment solutions” on its platform;
- California state, which filed a separate brief focused on its own Unfair Competition Law.
Epic has gained strong state allies since beginning its crusade against Apple. However, it is unclear whether all these parties will be allowed to be heard during the appeal.
The legal dispute between the companies started in August 2020, when Epic Games allowed Fortnite players to make in-game purchases bypassing the App Store’s fees. As a result, Apple pulled the game from the store.
In September 2021, Apple won nine of ten counts in the antitrust suit filed by Epic. The court ruled that the iPhone maker must let developers add links to third-party payment systems outside the App Store. Both Apple and Epic Games appealed the ruling, so the new round of this ongoing fight will start in October.