Epic Games has taken its ongoing legal battle against Apple to the Supreme Court by filing a cert petition. This move signals an attempt to reexamine whether Apple’s software business violates federal antitrust laws. The Supreme Court will decide in the coming months whether to select the case, reigniting the longstanding dispute between the two tech giants. Epic Games initially sued Apple in 2020 after Fortnite was removed from iOS for breaking the App Store’s rules on in-app payments. Despite a recent appeals court ruling mostly favoring Apple, a federal judge did find that Apple violated California’s Unfair Competition Law by restricting developers from informing consumers about alternative payment options.
The cert petition filed by Epic Games with the Supreme Court marks the latest development in the company’s crusade against Apple’s App Store fees. Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite and operator of the Epic Games Store, has been challenging Apple’s software business practices for nearly five years. The legal battle initially began when Apple expelled Fortnite from iOS after the game breached App Store guidelines by offering a direct payment method for in-game currency. This contentious move by Epic Games defied Apple’s controversial fees and sparked a widespread campaign to rally developers against the tech giant’s long-standing practices in the software market.
Although Apple secured a favorable outcome in the appeals court fight with Epic Games earlier this year, there was a partial victory for Epic when a federal judge ruled that Apple had violated California’s Unfair Competition Law. This victory, albeit limited, mandated that Apple be found guilty of limiting developers from informing users about alternative payment options. With the matter now heading towards the Supreme Court, Epic Games sought permission for developers to direct iPhone users to payment alternatives beyond Apple’s ecosystem. However, their request was denied in August by Justice Elena Kagan, meaning that Apple’s payment rules will continue to be enforced unless the Supreme Court chooses not to intervene at all.