35 US States Join Epic’s Appeal of Apple Antitrust Case

A coalition of US states have joined Epic in their appeal of their case against Apple.

The intensity of governments antitrust push against large tech giants has gone up another notch. This time, it is about a case that started clear back in 2020. At the time, Apple had kicked Fortnite from its app store. This after Epic allowed alternative payments within their app. Apple responded by saying that this violated their terms of service. In response, Epic sued, claiming antitrust.

The case went to court and the case ended with a split ruling. The judge basically said that Apple is not a monopoly, however, they need to allow alternative payment methods in their app store. Evidently, the case was appealed. We are learning that the appeal just got some pretty significant backing: the support of 35 US states. From GameIndustry.biz:

In an antitrust lawsuit filed on Thursday, as reported by Reuters, the states supporting Epic’s case reiterated that “Apple’s conduct has harmed and is harming mobile app-developers and millions of citizens” as it “continues to monopolise app distribution and in-app payment solutions for iPhones, stifle competition, and amass supracompetitive profits within the almost trillion-dollar-a-year smartphone industry.”

According to Bloomberg, the US Justice Department also weighed in, stating that the original ruling in the Epic vs Apple trial was “flawed” as a couple of provisions from the Sherman Act were “misapplied by the judge.”

The filing from the Justice department said: “The district court committed several legal errors that could imperil effective antitrust enforcement, especially in the digital economy.”

An Apple spokesperson said in a statement that the company is “optimistic” that the original ruling will be “affirmed on appeal.” The company’s legal response is expected in March.

This appears to be a new front for the latest governments antitrust push. Earlier, we reported on the antitrust case against Amazon over alleged price fixing. That development was a follow-up to the state’s latest legal move in their antitrust case against Google. Then, there was the FTC antitrust probe against Amazon looking into their cloud computing services. On top of that, there was the development over one of the Facebook antitrust cases where Facebook was unable to block the FTCs lawsuit against it.

So far, this month has really seen a flurry of legal activity over antitrust in the US alone. We’ll continue to monitor things to see how they develop as this is definitely a fast moving story.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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