Sina Science and Technology news, Beijing time on November 15 morning news, local time on Monday, "Fortnite" developer Epic Games to a federal appeals panel consisting of three US federal judges filed an appeal to overturn part of the lower court's decision. Previous rulings were largely in favor of Apple and its App Store.
Epic Games sued Apple in 2020, accusing the company of breaking the law by requiring software developers to pay as much as a 30% commission on in-app purchases. After a three-week trial last year, the judge stopped short of calling Apple an "illegal monopolist" and noted that Epic Games had failed to show that the privacy and security benefits of the commissions and policies outweighed the costs to consumers.
On Monday, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit asked lawyers from Epic Games, Apple and the Justice Department whether the trial judge had properly compared the consequences of different decisions. Epic Games admits that it did not provide enough evidence on some points. Apple reiterated that developer fees fund App Store app reviews to ensure users don't access fraudulent, pornographic or privately-infringing apps.
At the heart of the trial judge's decision was the finding that Apple's App Store usage agreements with developers did not violate antitrust law because they were non-negotiable. That means developers must either agree to the terms or they can't use the App Store. Epic Games argues that such standard agreements are still subject to antitrust law.
Other big tech companies use similar user protocols to protect access to their systems. The US Justice Department, which has been investigating Apple and other tech companies, joined Epic Games in its appeal. The Justice Department said the lower court's ruling could "cause serious harm to antitrust enforcement in the particular context of this case".
Lower courts had also previously ruled that Apple violated California's unfair competition laws and ordered the company to allow developers to tell users about other ways to buy apps than through Apple's payment system. The appellate panel can re-evaluate the decision.