The United States Supreme Court has denied a request to hear Epic Games v. Apple, the antitrust lawsuit regarding Apple’s practices in its app store.
As reported by Reuters, the Supreme Court published a list of cases pending in the court right now, in addition to legal cases it declined to hear. Two of which included appeals from both Apple and Epic Games. None of the justices provided reasons for refusing to hear either case.
“The Supreme Court denied both sides’ appeals of the Epic v. Apple antitrust case,” Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney wrote on X/Twitter. “The court battle to open iOS to competing stores and payments is lost in the United States. A sad outcome for all developers.”
The Supreme Court denied both sides’ appeals of the Epic v. Apple antitrust case. The court battle to open iOS to competing stores and payments is lost in the United States. A sad outcome for all developers.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) January 16, 2024
Apple did not immediately respond to IGN’s request for comment regarding the Supreme Court’s decision.
Apple and Epic Games’ legal feud began in 2020 after Epic rolled out a direct-pay system into its popular free-to-play game, Fortnite. The new payment system resulted in lower V-Bucks prices before Apple (and Google) banned Fortnite and Epic Games from its App Store for violating its policy regarding payment methods. Epic filed a lawsuit to challenge Apple’s (and Google’s) app store policies, arguing both violated antitrust laws; both tech companies counter-sued Epic.
In 2021, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that Apple is not considered a monopoly. Roughly two years later, The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals largely affirmed the lower court’s decision. However, Epic did see some success in court against Google, with a jury ruling last December that Google had an illegal monopoly in the app store fight, and Google announcing its plans to appeal the verdict.
Though Apple has largely won the legal battle, both rulings did note that Apple engaged in anti-competitive behavior by barring developers from disclosing to App Store users that additional payment methods are available.
Apple may also soon have to allow alternative app stores on iPhones under the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). While Apple is trying to appeal the decision, the DMA is set to go into effect on March 7.
Taylor is a Reporter at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.