Jan 17, 2024 - News

Supreme Court won't hear Epic Games' antitrust case against Apple's App Store

Photo illustration: Idrees Abbas/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Tuesday to take on the high-profile antitrust case between Epic Games and Apple.

Why it matters: The Supreme Court's rejection of petitions from both Epic, the Cary-based video game maker, and Apple leaves in place a lower-court ruling that was widely seen as a win for Apple — while at the same time ruling that some of the iPhone maker's actions were anti-competitive.

Details: The decision by the Supreme Court means Epic's quest to allow consumers to bypass the App Store and download apps by other means and avoid the iPhone maker's fees will be unsuccessful.

  • But the lower court did rule that Apple must now allow developers the ability to add buttons or links to buy digital goods outside of the App Store — and thus avoid Apple's 30% fee.

Catch up fast: In 2020, Epic updated its popular Fortnite game on iOS, adding options for players to buy virtual items directly from Epic, bypassing the phone maker's 30% cut on in-app purchases.

  • Apple kicked Epic off their stores in response, claiming Epic had violated its policies.
  • Epic then sued Apple, saying its control of mobile app stores constituted an anti-competitive monopoly.

What they're saying: "The court battle to open iOS to competing stores and payments is lost in the United States. A sad outcome for all developers," Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, in response to the ruling.

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