Apple vs Epic Games: US Supreme Court refutes request to change App Store payment rules

The US Supreme Court rejected a federal judge’s injunction that could have forced Apple to change payment practices in its App Store, dealing a blow to Epic Games in its legal battle with Apple.

Epic Games has failed in its attempt to expedite a change in Apple’s App Store payment policies. The maker of Fortnite had approached the Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that had postponed an injunction against Apple’s App Store rules. However, Justice Elena Kagan refused the request without explanation.
In April, the US federal appeals court ruled in favour of Apple in the antitrust lawsuit with Epic Games over App Store policies. But, the court noted that Apple violated California’s Unfair Competition law by blocking third-party developers from directing users to alternative payment options. A lower-court judge issued an injunction to stop that practice following the trial. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the request in April but suspended it in July, giving Apple 90 days to take the case to the Supreme Court.

Epic urged the Supreme Court to overturn the Ninth Circuit, arguing that it would harm not just Epic, but also countless consumers and other app developers for an extended period of time.
The Fortnite-maker had accused Apple of being an illegal monopolist by requiring consumers to use its App Store and buy digital content at a 30% commission.
Apple stated that it must modify its business model to comply with the injunction before the completion of the judicial review. The injunction limits Apple’s ability to protect users from fraud, scams, malware, spyware, and objectionable content.
Epic is also fighting it out with Google in a similar lawsuit set to go on trial in November. Like Apple, Google removed Fortnite from the Play Store for violating in-app payment guidelines.

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