On Thursday, Apple Petitions USSC(United States Supreme Court) requesting that an order that required modifications to its App Store regulations coming from an antitrust dispute brought by Epic Games, the owner of the “Fortnite” video game, be overturned.
Since 2020, when the gaming company Epic first claimed that Apple’s practice of charging up to 30 percent commissions on in-app payments made on iPhones and other devices was in violation of U.S. antitrust rules, the iPhone manufacturer has been engaged in a legal struggle with Epic.
This dispute has resulted in a number of court disputes. Epic was unsuccessful in its pursuit of those claims during the trial that took place in 2021; nonetheless, a judge from the United States District Court determined that Apple’s policy of prohibiting software developers from informing users about alternative payment methods was in violation of a California law governing unfair competition.
Apple petitions USSC following the decision, the judge in charge of the trial at the lower court ordered Apple to alter those regulations so that they apply to all developers working in its United States App Store. The orders were affirmed by the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, but they are currently on hold as they await a judgment from the Supreme Court or a determination that it will not hear the case.
On Thursday, Apple made the argument that the rulings from the lower courts violate the United States Constitution because they exceed the authority of a federal judge. Apple contended that the trial judge improperly focused on a case brought by a single developer rather than a broader class of developers to support a nationwide ban, and that the judge failed to prove that a worldwide ban was necessary to correct the harm caused to Epic as a result of the statewide restriction.
Apple’s argument was based on the fact that the judge did not consider a broader class of developers.
Apple stated in its petition to the United States Supreme Court that “that approach eviscerates the constitutional limitations on federal courts’ authority” and that “unless corrected by this Court, would render universal injunctions the default remedy in single-plaintiff cases challenging a generally applicable policy.” Apple made these statements in response to a case in which a single plaintiff was attempting to overturn a policy that was generally applicable.
On Wednesday, Epic also filed an appeal of findings from a lower court over the Apple dispute. It is expected that the Supreme Court will determine whether or not to consider the case either before the end of this year or at the beginning of the following year.