Epic Games has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a 2021 ruling over Apple’s App Store policies.
As a quick refresher, Epic Games sued Apple back in 2021 over App Store policies, such as Apple’s prohibition on developers using third-party payment systems. The ruling largely went in Apple’s favour, though the company was ordered to allow developers to offer alternate payment methods outside of Apple’s in-app purchase system.
Epic appealed the decision, but the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the original ruling in April 2023. The court found that Apple had a “substantial anticompetitive effect that harms consumers.” However, the court felt it didn’t meet the bar for an antitrust case.
Now, according to Bloomberg, Epic is going to the Supreme Court for one last crack at overturning the ruling. The publication says the court could decide to take up the case before the end of the year.
If Epic wins the appeal, it could be a major blow to Apple and result in the loss of a major revenue source for the company. As it stands, Apple takes a cut of up to 30 percent from all purchases made through the App Store. Because of the high cut and Apple’s prohibition on alternate payment options, several developers have taken issue with the policy.
While Epic has been one of the loudest critics of Apple’s policies, it’s far from the only one — for example, there’s a whole group of developers in the Coalition for App Fairness speaking out about the policies.
Moreover, other countries have gotten in on the App Store problem. Regulators in some countries, like South Korea, ruled Apple must allow third-party payments. Meanwhile, Apple is preparing to support third-party app stores on the iPhone in response to the E.U.’s upcoming Digital Markets Act.
Google is also in the crosshairs for similar behaviour on Android, though it’s worth noting that it’s possible to get alternate app stores on Android phones (it’s just difficult to do). The trial between Epic and Google should kick off in the next few weeks.
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