Epic Games pleads with Supreme Court for reconsideration of Apple antitrust ruling.

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Epic Games has filed a petition with the US Supreme Court to review a ruling made in 2021 that cleared Apple of antitrust violations. The gaming company claims that Apple violated California’s Unfair Competition law by prohibiting developers from directing users to third-party payment systems. Although the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recognized that Apple’s practices had an anticompetitive effect on consumers, it did not qualify as an antitrust case. If Epic Games succeeds in its appeal, Apple could potentially lose a significant source of revenue, as the company currently takes a percentage cut from all purchases made through its App Store.

Epic Games has been one of the most vocal opponents of Apple’s App Store payment policies, but it is not alone in its fight. Companies like Spotify and Tile are part of the Coalition for App Fairness, which has been advocating for Apple to change its policies. Outside of the US, Epic Games and its peers have experienced more success in changing the status quo. Authorities in countries such as South Korea and the Netherlands have ruled that Apple must allow third-party payments, although Apple continues to charge a transaction fee. In response to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, Apple is also rumored to be preparing support for third-party app stores.

The Supreme Court is expected to decide whether it will take up the case before the end of the year. In the meantime, the popular game Fortnite remains unavailable on the App Store. It has been absent from the store since August 2020 when Apple banned the game after Epic Games introduced alternative payment methods to bypass the App Store’s revenue cut. Epic Games is also engaged in a legal battle with Google for similar practices. Both Epic Games and Match Group, the operator of dating apps like Hinge and Tinder, have accused Google of unfair fees and requirements for in-app purchases. This trial is set to begin in the next few weeks.

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