In the ongoing saga between Epic Games and Apple, the US Supreme Court ultimately sided with the App Store creator this August. It blocked a federal injunction - sparing Apple from having to change its payment practices.
Now, Epic is taking another chomp - having filed an appeal in this antitrust case and requesting that the US Supreme Court review the ruling of a lower court. The appeal also asks the Supreme Court to rule on broader antitrust questions, as reported by GamesBeat.
A restraint that has "pro- and anticompetitive effects is unlawful if a ‘less-restrictive alternative’ will achieve the same benefits while harming competition less", Epic is arguing, while asking the Supreme Court to consider whether a less-restrictive alternative exists if the harm outweighs justification, and if a less-restrictive alternative must be free of Apple costs.
How did we get here?
Appeals, turnarounds and outside support have been commonplace throughout the Apple vs Epic case, which began all the way back in 2020. Roblox was one of the first among the external voices weighing in, commending the App Store for its safety and security.
The case began with Epic suggesting Apple has an unfair monopoly on App Store apps and purchasing systems. But Apple ultimately emerged victorious this April, winning an appeal of its own. The only claim of a total 10 that Epic won was permission for developers to sell in-app purchases on their websites - giving an opportunity to dodge the 30% share Apple takes from purchases made in-game. This very action is what got Fortnite removed from the App Store in the first place.
Now finally acceptable after the ruling, many developers are indeed steering players away from in-app purchases. Niantic is among them, with its new game Monster Hunter Now offering discounts on the web store for the same content as in-game, benefiting the developer and consumers both; such a move is no longer against iOS terms of service.