Why isn’t Fortnite’s creator delighted after ‘beating’ Apple: Epic Games has filed a notice of appeal in a lawsuit alleging that Apple has been operating an illegal monopoly that has stifled competition. In a court filing on Sunday, the creators of the popular Fortnite computer game announced they will appeal the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ordered Apple to destroy a lucrative section of the competitive barricade surrounding its tightly managed iPhone app store in a 185-page judgement issued Friday, but she dismissed Epic’s assertions that Apple operated a monopoly.
Epic stated in its notice of appeal that it would challenge the final verdict “as well as any orders leading to or producing that judgement.”
The verdict continues to erode Apple’s so-called “walled garden” created around its crown jewel, the iPhone, and its app store, but does not fully topple it. – Why isn’t Fortnite’s creator delighted after ‘beating’ Apple.
Apple also felt vindicated as a result of the judgement. Apple was not declared a monopolist by the judge, and therefore was not required to allow competing stores to sell apps for iPhones, iPads, and iPods.
Epic, which filed what it anticipated would be a landmark antitrust complaint last year after boldly violating an exclusive payment system that distributes 15 percent to 30 percent of all in-app digital transactions on iPhones to Apple, had two major goals.
Subscriptions to Netflix or Spotify, as well as the selling of digital items like songs, movies, or virtual tchotchkes for video games, are examples of such transactions. Epic portrayed the hefty fee as a form of price gouging that wouldn’t be possible if other stores were permitted to sell iPhone apps.
While some of Gonzalez Rogers’ judgement raised issues about whether Apple’s fees were driving up consumer prices, she backed the company’s ability to prevent other stores from selling iPhone software. On every other major issue in the case, she sided with Apple.
However, the judge found Apple to be guilty of unfair competition under California law, and she ordered the corporation to allow developers in the United States to include links to other payment choices besides Apple’s in iPhone apps. This change would make it easier for software developers to avoid paying Apple’s fees, potentially costing billions of dollars each year.
Even as it conceded it may appeal to the aspect of the judgement that will make it easier for app developers to avoid Apple’s commissions, Apple attempted to portray the decision as a total victory.
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