LegalNews

U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t want to hear anymore about the never-ending Apple vs. Epic Games battle

And so it continues: Apple wants Epic Games to pay US$73.4 million in legal fees after Apple won the antitrust case brought against it by the games maker.

As noted by MacRumors, the United States Supreme Court has declined to hear separate requests from both Apple and Epic Games in their long-standing lawsuit against each other with regards to App Store rules.

Apple made the request in September 2023, asking the Supreme Court to hear its appeal about the portion of its legal dispute that was ruled in Epic’s favor. The Court also declined to hear a request from Epic Games to make a ruling on the case. 

MacRumors notes that, as a result of the decision, the previous rulings stand and Apple can continue to disallow third-party payment processing within apps, but will have to allow developers to inform users about other purchasing options outside of the ‌App Store‌.

This is all part of an ongoing global legal battle between Apple and Epic. On Aug. 13, 2020, Epic Games announced that it had introduced a new direct payment option in the Fortnite app for iPhone and iPad, allowing players to purchase 1000 V-Bucks for US$7.99 rather than $9.99 through Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism. Shortly thereafter, Apple removed the gamer from the App Store for violating store polices and followed up by shutting down the company’s developer account.  

Epic immediately filed a lawsuit against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.In September 2020 Apple filed a countersuit to stop the game maker from using its own payment system for Fortnite. Apple also accused Epic of theft and sought extra monetary damages beyond breach of contract. 

In September 2021, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that Apple’s anti-steering conduct is anti-competitive, but ruled in favor of Apple on all other counts.

In a 185-page ruling, Rogers said “the Court cannot ultimately conclude that Apple is a monopolist under either federal or state antitrust laws,” but she said the trial “did show that Apple is engaging in anticompetitive conduct under California’s competition laws.” Rogers concluded that “Apple’s anti-steering provisions hide critical information from consumers and illegally stifle consumer choice.” 

She ruled that Epic Games had to pay damages equal to 30% of the $12,167,719 in revenue that it collected from users in the Fortnite app on iOS through the direct payment option between August 2020 and October 2020, plus 30% of any such revenue Epic Games collected from November 1, 2020, through the date of judgment, plus interest. 

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.