Apple seeks Supreme Court reversal of App Store ruling in Epic lawsuit.

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Apple is making a final attempt to ask the Supreme Court to reverse a ruling that would require the company to open up its App Store to third-party payments. The iPhone maker filed a petition with the Court, arguing that the lower court injunction was unconstitutional and excessively broad. This move comes amidst an ongoing dispute between Apple and Fortnite developer Epic Games, with both sides seeking the Supreme Court’s intervention to overturn certain aspects of a previous ruling. If the Supreme Court decides to take up the case, Apple’s petition could have significant implications for all developers.

Apple’s request to the Supreme Court revolves around an injunction that mandates the company to allow app developers to offer payments independent of its App Store and its associated fees. This rule, known as an “anti-steering” policy, has been contentious and widely criticized by developers. It not only prohibits app makers from including links to web-based payments but also prevents them from informing customers about potentially cheaper alternatives. Reversing this rule would deal a severe blow to the App Store’s business model, which relies on maintaining strict control over in-app payments.

The primary catalyst for this ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic Games was the latter’s antitrust lawsuit against Apple in 2020. In this case, the judge ruled in favor of Epic Games regarding the issue of the anti-steering policy in 2021. Apple has been fighting against this specific aspect of the ruling for the past two years. Additionally, Epic Games has also approached the Supreme Court to reconsider a part of the lower court’s ruling in its efforts to sustain its antitrust claims against Apple. The outcome of these appeals has the potential to reshape the future of the App Store and its relationship with app developers.

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