According to court documents filed Friday, officials from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have asked to take part in oral arguments next month in “Fortnite” creator Epic Games’ appeal of a court loss against Apple.
Epic sued Apple in 2020 alleging that the App Store commission rules violated antitrust laws. Apple emerged mostly victorious, allowing its commissions to stand. At the time of the trial, antitrust experts had said that loss for Epic could close off legal avenues for the Justice Department, which has been probing Apple since 2019, to bring a future antitrust complaint.
In January, the Justice Department entered the case by filing a brief. Antitrust officials said they did not support either side in the disputes at hand but were concerned that the lower court’s ruling had improperly interpreted the Sherman Act, the country’s primary antitrust law. On Friday, U.S. officials asked for 10 minutes of argument time.
“The United States believes that its participation at oral argument would be helpful to the court, especially in explaining how the errors (in antitrust law interpretation) could significantly harm antitrust enforcement beyond the specific context of this case,” the Justice Department wrote in the filing.
Neither Epic nor Apple opposed the move, though Apple wants the regulators’ argument time to come out of Epic’s time or to be granted additional time.
MacDailyNews Note: In April, Roblox joined the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity Foundation, along with two former Central Intelligence Agency directors and 21 other former U.S. national security officials, in backing Apple vs. Epic in the App Store antitrust fight.
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