Epic Games may have largely lost its big lawsuit against Apple, but it’s not going without a fight — and it has strong support in its corner. Shortly after the Epic games against Apple verdict was made, Epic appealed and on January 27th, a host of organizations filed amicus briefs in support of Epic’s struggles, including a coalition of 35 prosecutors, Microsoft and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
During the fight, Epic tried to argue that Apple has a monopoly on iOS apps and asked for changes that would effectively force Apple to take a smaller percentage of all transactions that go through that store. If Epic were to succeed in getting Apple to accept alternative payment processors, it would dramatically change the way Apple, the world’s most profitable company, operates its highly lucrative App Store. In the original case, the judge ultimately ruled in Apple’s favor on nine of the ten points Epic filed against it, but both Epic and Apple appealed the parts they lost.
In an opening appeal filed last week, Epic argued that leaving the ruling “would overturn the established principles of antitrust law and…undermine sound antitrust policy.”
Now it appears that more than half of the states in the US, Microsoft and the many other groups that submit amicus briefings (which were submitted by someone who is not a party to the case, with additional information that may be relevant) siding with Epic, the company that lost all but one count in the original ruling, as they believe Apple may also have a monopoly.
“Apple’s behavior has harmed and harmed mobile app developers and millions of citizens,” the states said in their briefing. “Meanwhile, Apple continues to monopolize app distribution and in-app payment solutions for iPhones, stifling competition and amassing supracompetitive profits within the nearly trillion dollar-a-year smartphone industry. Apple must justify its behavior on the basis of a full rule of reason analysis.”
“A broad ruling for Apple could leave little room for a restrictive principle to prevent Apple from using its control over iOS to foreclose competition in countless neighboring markets,” Microsoft said. “Google, the only other mobile operating system provider, could be empowered to do the same. Much is at stake for Microsoft and other companies that rely on antitrust laws to protect competition on merit.” (It should be noted that Microsoft was a key ally with Epic during the bench trial, as Epic even called Microsoft to the booth to testify.)
“A holistic review of the court’s factual findings will demonstrate that Apple has market power in app distribution and that the justifications advanced for its restrictive App Store policies do not outweigh the anticompetitive effects of those policies,” the EFF said. in the conclusion. to his short. Accordingly, this Court should find Apple’s policies under the Sherman Act illegal. This result gives Apple the freedom to continue to innovate for the benefit of its users, while allowing innovation to flourish beyond Apple’s walls.”
Here is the list of organizations that have submitted amicus briefs. We’ve uploaded each of their instructions to DocumentCloud for you to read for yourself:
The United States also submitted an amicus brief, although it offered no direct support to either side.
Correction January 29, 1:12 AM ET: The amicus briefings were filed on January 27, no more than two days, and Epic argued that Apple has a monopoly on iOS app distribution and in-app payments, not specifically on mobile gaming. We regret the mistakes.