Epic Games CEO Responds to Supreme Court Appeals Hearing Denial

In response to the Supreme Court's denial of an appeal hearing, Epic Games' CEO took to social media and we've got his tweets here.
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Image: Epic Games

On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court rejected appeals from both Epic Games and Apple, effectively upholding the ruling from the original 2021 antitrust trial. Many would argue that the decision represents a significant victory for Apple on most counts. Still, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has vowed to continue the fight for a more open mobile app ecosystem.

The main sticking point of the lawsuit centered around Apple’s App Store policies, specifically its mandatory use of its own in-app purchase system and the 30% commission it takes on all transactions. Epic challenged these practices, arguing they constitute an illegal monopoly. While they won it with Google, Apple’s App Store was harder to prove. Sweeny isn’t giving up, though.

The lower court ruling in 2021 allowed Apple to maintain its App Store dominance but also placed an injunction on one specific practice: anti-steering. This means Apple can no longer prevent developers from informing users about alternative payment options outside the App Store. Which originally caused the removal of Fortnite.

Sweeney, in a series of social media posts, expressed disappointment with the Supreme Court’s decision, calling it a “sad outcome for all developers.” However, he acknowledged the remaining injunction against anti-steering as a small victory, stating that developers can now “begin exercising their court-established right to tell US customers about better prices on the web.”

Despite the setback in the US, Epic is continuing its fight against Apple’s App Store practices on multiple fronts. The company is pursuing similar antitrust lawsuits in other countries, with a recent filing in Australia. According to GamesIndustry.biz, Epic will benefit from the European Union’s upcoming Digital Markets Act, which goes into effect in March 2024 and prohibits storefronts from gatekeeping and prioritizing their own offerings over those of others.

The Supreme Court’s decision in the Epic vs. Apple case represents a complex outcome with ramifications for both parties and the broader mobile app market. While Apple retains its control over the App Store, developers now have a small but potentially significant tool to inform users about alternative payment options. The saga, however, is far from over, with Epic vowing to continue its fight on an international stage and regulatory changes looming in Europe. We may see Epic Games return to the US with a new lawsuit in time.

Jorge A. Aguilar

Jorge A. Aguilar

Jorge A. Aguilar, also known as Aggy, is the current Assigning Editor.

He started his career as an esports, influencer, and streaming writer for Sportskeeda. He then moved to GFinity Esports to cover streaming, games, guides, and news before moving to the Social team where he ended his time as the Lead of Social Content.

He also worked a writer and editor for both Pro Game Guides and Dot Esports, and as a writer for PC Invasion, Attack of the Fanboy, and Android Police. Aggy is the former Managing Editor and Operations Overseer of N4G Unlocked and a former Gaming editor for WePC.

Throughout his time in the industry, he's trained over 100 writers, written thousands of articles on multiple sites, written more reviews than he cares to count, and edited tens of thousands of articles. He has also written some games published by Tales, some books, and a comic sold to Telus International.

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