Sept 28 (Portal) – Apple (AAPL.O) asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to overturn an order mandating changes to App Store rules stemming from an antitrust lawsuit by “Fortnite” owner Epic Games result.
The iPhone maker has been in a legal battle with Epic since 2020, when the gaming company claimed that Apple’s requirement that developers distribute software through its App Store, where Apple takes up to 30% commission on in-app payments on iPhones and other devices violate US antitrust regulations. Epic lost those claims at trial in 2021, but a U.S. District Court judge ruled that Apple’s practice of prohibiting software developers from telling customers about alternative payment methods violated a California unfair competition law.
After the ruling, the judge ordered Apple to change these rules for all developers in its US app store. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the orders, but they remain on hold until the Supreme Court either makes a decision or declines to hear the case.
Apple argued Thursday that the lower courts’ orders violate the U.S. Constitution because they exceed the authority of a federal judge. Apple argued that to justify a nationwide ban, the judge relied on the case of an individual developer rather than a broader group of developers, without showing that the nationwide ban was necessary to repair the harm done to Epic.
“This approach removes constitutional limitations on the power of the federal courts and, unless corrected by this Court, would make general injunctions the default remedy in individual plaintiff cases challenging a generally applicable policy,” Apple wrote in its filing with the Supreme Court US Court of Justice.
Epic also appealed lower court rulings in the Apple case on Wednesday. The Supreme Court will likely decide whether to hear the case late this year or early next year.
(This story has been corrected to say that in paragraph 2, Epic claimed that Apple’s software distribution rules violated antitrust laws, not that its commissions violated the laws.)
Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Edited by Leslie Adler
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