Judge: Epic Games failed to demonstrate that Apple is an ‘illegal monopolist’

Epic Games failed to demonstrate that Apple is an “illegal monopolist,” California federal judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled Friday in the high-profile case brought by Epic Games.

Apple's App Store on iPhone
Apple’s App Store on iPhone

Rebecca Klar for The Hill:

Rogers, an Obama appointee, ruled that “the court does not find that it is impossible,” but rather that Epic failed to demonstrate that Apple is “an illegal monopolist.”

“Nonetheless, the trial did show that Apple is engaging in anti-competitive conduct under California’s competition laws,” the judge said in the decision.

Gonzalez Rogers also issued an injunction “permanently” restraining Apple from prohibiting developers from including external links directing customers to options to make purchases outside of the in-app payment system.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, this is akin to a judge issuing an injunction that forces Best Buy and Target to place signs next to each product that advertise lower prices for the same items at Walmart.

Apple should appeal Roger’s injunction and/or if developers like Epic Games want to advertise lower prices using Apple’s App Store, Apple should simply charge an in-store advertising fee. We suggest it be 15% for developers making under $1 million per year and 30% for those making $1 million or more annually. 🙂

“Today the Court has affirmed what we’ve known all along: the App Store is not in violation of antitrust law,” Apple said in a statement.

[Apple] is allowed to largely keep its App Store policies in place — including collecting commission fees and keeping the App Store as the sole download method on iPhones and iPads.

Epic is also ordered to pay Apple an amount equal to the 3 percent of the roughly $12 million in revenue Epic Games collected from users in the Fortnite app through direct payments…

Chamber of Progress, an industry group that names Apple and Google among its corporate partners, touted Gonzalez Rogers’s ruling as a warning to lawmakers to hold off on revamping antitrust laws.

“Antitrust law should focus on protecting consumers, but this case has always been about Epic Games trying to save a few million dollars. The judge’s rejection of most of Epic’s arguments should give policymakers pause in legislating to help some companies’ bottom line,” Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich said in a statement.

MacDailyNews Take: Once digested by the market, Apple will be seen as the clear winner in this case.

TGIF! Interns: Please perform your most sacred duty by tapping that keg! Prost, everyone!
Clinking Beer Mugs

23 Comments

  1. I love the MDN take of charging for link advertising, and they are right! They can charge. Great idea!

    Furthermore, Apple won. Completely won. All the bogus antitrust garbage was thrown out, rightly. And this was even by a commie California (I know I repeat myself) court.

    The only thing left was some California law on information disclosure requiring links, something apple had recently implemented and allowed anyway. Good luck with people clicking a link to go to another store, and enter their payment information a new there. Will only reinforce how good apple’s systems are. Further, it’s questionable if the California law on disclosure is itself constitutional, and I suspect will be appealed.

    This was a complete slam dunk win for apple.

    That the tech financial press has its head up its rear and doesnt get it or doesnt want to get it for clickbait is just par for the course of their ineptitude.

    This bs propaganda is not just for clicks, but the financial services area loves this tanking apple stock to buy it up on the cheap, because this is going to make NADA ZIP ZILCH difference to apple’s bottom line, and in the mean time, they are getting suckers to sell their apple shares for cheap on this bs market manipulating news.

    1. Like I’ve been saying, this is all bs clickbait by idiots in the press. Apple won this. No one is putting alternative pay buttons into the App Store. This is noise.

      “No, the Epic v. Apple injunction absolutely positively DOESN’T allow developers to incorporate ‘buttons’ for alternative IN-APP payment mechanisms”
      http://www.fosspatents.com/2021/09/no-epic-v-apple-injunction-absolutely.html

      And this comes from an idiot that was rooting for Epic to win:

      “I’ve been rooting for Epic, and I wish everyone were as honest as Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney after losing a court battle. But I’m absolutely committed to telling people the truth.”

      And even this dimwitted turnip sees it despite being snowed by lying bastage Tim Scammy.

  2. I’d say Epic won, because cutting Apple out of the subscription charges was their goal. The part they lost was something that would hurt Apple, but not really help Epic.

          1. Rogers, an Obama appointee, ruled that “the court does not find that it is impossible,” but rather that Epic failed to demonstrate that Apple is “an illegal monopolist.”!

  3. But will developers be allowed to display a price in AppStore or just a link to wherever.. outside of the AppStore.

    It’s ridiculous to force Apple to promote competitors in their own store?
    Total nonsense.. name one store that does that !?

    If they have to allow a direct link with a lower price.. then i say the whole transaction has to take place outside of the Appstore… and the app side-loaded through the competitors own site…. Not Appstore.
    Lets see how many will choose to do that to save a buck!?

    And per MDN’s brilliant idea.. charge an advertising fee If the competitors choose to see the Appstore as a magazine to advertise in sell their product.

    I cant understand how the judge cant see how ludicrous his decision is! Use Apple store to expose and distribute your app for zero fee! Absurd!!!!

    1. How about…..

      Apple BUYS stuff from “who ever wants to sell their app” and RESELLS the app to iPhone users at a 30% markup. That way only Apple sells on the store. Including in app tokens etc. No one else does any transactions with the customer. Developers directly sell to Apple….not the customer.
      Apple allows external stores, but every time an app is downloaded it has to first download to Apple servers for a AI to check for virus, malware, …..till it is to satisfaction of Apple…..incurring a 30% check fee charged to the developer, not the customer. Apple then throws away the data transferred to them and goes through the same process each time that app is downloaded.This way, instead of using Apple resources for free, there has to be real external store (including all the costs associated with providing such a store) and apple still gets paid.

      Oh, also, during the Check process the customer get a “Apple is verifying app data” message that takes …..oh maybe 60 seconds longer…..maybe 5 minutes longer…..who knows how long it might take.

      3.

  4. SPLIT DECISION

    “the court does not find that it is impossible,” but rather that Epic failed to demonstrate that Apple is “an illegal monopolist.”

    APPLE WON.

    Rogers, an Obama appointee, ruled that “the court does not find that it is impossible,” but rather that Epic failed to demonstrate that Apple is “an illegal monopolist.”

    “Nonetheless, the trial did show that Apple is engaging in anti-competitive conduct under California’s competition laws,” the judge said in the decision.
    Gonzalez Rogers also issued an injunction “permanently” restraining Apple from prohibiting developers from including external links directing customers to options to make purchases outside of the in-app payment system.”

    EPIC WON.

    Before we pop the champagne corks, the appeals court will have its say…

    1. If I were Apple, I would not appeal. Having the precedent set that it is not a monopoly can stave off much of the attacks from the stupid politicians.

      The App Store is valued at approx $19B. Even if developers are allowed to “steer” users to alternate payment methods, many probably won’t. Besides, even at $19B, it represents only pennies in the total estimated EPS for Apple.

      On the other hand, I don’t know if Epic will appeal… Epic’s lawyers failed miserably and completely in attempting to assert that Apple is a monopoly. But Sweeney has proven himself an idiot so who knows if he will try again…

      This whole debacle hasn’t done much for Epic other than get Fortnite kicked off the App Store, lose a major source of revenue, their lawyers rich, and burn bridges with Apple.

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