Epic claims App Store antitrust trial judge made too many legal mistakes in her ruling

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 20
Thursday's appeal filing by Epic claims that Judge Gonzales Roberts "erred" in her Epic versus Apple antitrust rulings.




The filing, made by Epic's attorneys, claims that Epic made its case appropriately, and Judge Roberts "erred" in her interpretation of the evidence and testimony. Furthermore, the gaming company disagreed with the judge's stance regarding Apple's power in the market, saying that it has "ample economic power" to force developers to bend to its will.

The appeal filing claims that "Apple unlawfully maintains its monopolies in the iOS app distribution and in-app payment solutions markets by expressly excluding all competitors." However, during the trial, Judge Roberts didn't define the market the same way that Epic does here or the wider definition that Apple wants. It isn't clear why Epic is leaning on their definition in the appeal filing, given the ruling and prior precedent in similar matters.

Epic either wants the Sherman Act claims and judgement on Apple's breach of contract reversed, and overturned in entirety, with appropriate injunctive remedies applied. Failing that, it still wants the appeals court to agree that there are errors in the ruling, and order a complete retrial, with specific instructions by the court of appeals on how to adjudicate matters the way Epic wants her to.

The filing also claims that if the ruling is not reversed, "this decision would upend established principles of antitrust law and, as the district court itself recognized, undermine sound antitrust policy." As it stands, "established principles" of antitrust law as it pertains to App Stores so far would have to be rewritten to meet Epic's definition.

Epic filed its original intent to appeal on September 12, 2021, just after the end of the trial.

The ruling as it stands didn't make either party fully happy. For Apple, an injunction effectively requires it to allow alternative payment methods for apps in the App Store, but did specify that it could take a commission. The ruling did say that Apple wasn't a monopoly in the market, and that Epic did breach contractual terms.

Apple its appealing the need for it to make changes in required payment methods and technologies. That matter is under appeal, and an injunction on the changes is in place until that appeal is heard.

Epic largely failed in its bid to force Apple into allowing a third-party App Store to exist on iOS. The change in payment terms is likely to be beneficial to developers in general.

The game company also has to pay Apple 30% of the $12 million in revenue it collected through Epic Direct Payment, as well as 30% of any revenue collected relevant to iOS through November 1 to the date of judgment, plus interest.

Fortnite was removed from the App Store by Apple after Epic profoundly violated the developer's agreement, which spawned the trial. The game remains off the Apple App Store, and is unlikely to return.

Update January 20, 3:48: Updated with more detail on what Epic is seeking from the appeals court.

Epic Versus Apple - Epic Opening Appeal Brief by Mike Wuerthele on Scribd

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    thttht Posts: 4,388member
    Still don't get Epic's end game here. 

    It wasn't about the money as iOS sales were 7% of Fortnite revenue. Playstation, XBox, Switch and PC were 90% of Fortnite's revenues. It's touchscreen mobile, and there isn't going to be a big FPS game catalog for this type of platform, so what's the point of having an Epic Games Store? They were going to buy out all the billion dollar phone game properties, and make them exclusive to EGS?

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 12
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,020member
    tht said:
    Still don't get Epic's end game here. 

    It wasn't about the money as iOS sales were 7% of Fortnite revenue. Playstation, XBox, Switch and PC were 90% of Fortnite's revenues. It's touchscreen mobile, and there isn't going to be a big FPS game catalog for this type of platform, so what's the point of having an Epic Games Store? They were going to buy out all the billion dollar phone game properties, and make them exclusive to EGS?

    There’s this strange hate for Apple and it’s easier to target Apple than say, Microsoft.  So starting here was ideal.

    The end game is to have their parasite platform infect ALL platforms. Including Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.
    uraharakillroyCesar Battistini Mazierowatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    So Epic now knows more than the Judge? Too bad
    Dogpersonravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    I guess that’s one way to rush an appeal to get a ruling. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,669member
    It comes down to being an ego trip for Sweeney.  He has invested his personal ego in this.  And he wants the adulations of the Apple jealous (haters) as the guy who took down Apple.   

    That is what this is about.  
    killroywilliamlondonDogpersonCesar Battistini Mazierowatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 12
    Another headline - “Lawyers talk idiotic CEO into to continue ping hourly billings.”
    DogpersonmattinozCesar Battistini MazieroaderutterbadmonkDetnatorwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 12
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,646member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    So Epic now knows more than the Judge? Too bad
    To win an appeal they need to have some legal basis, not just “we don’t like the ruling.” Citing errors in legal reasoning is a common grounds for appeal. It doesn’t mean they’ll win, but if you’re Epic you take the shot, otherwise you lose. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 12
    Wow! Just...

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 12
    Look...BlueMail's lawsuit against Apple was already dismissed by a different federal judge who cited BlueMail's success on other platforms with the same app as being proof that iOS was not a monopoly and anti-trust issues didn't apply. As everyone knows, Fortnite was not originally created for iOS at all. It was simply ported to iOS after being a huge hit on video game consoles and PC. Epic has no grounds for the monopoly claim. Never has. If anything, the error in the Epic trial was that it wasn't simply thrown out like BlueMail lawsuit. 
    edited January 21 thtaderutterwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 10 of 12
    Cesar Battistini MazieroCesar Battistini Maziero Posts: 253unconfirmed, member
    Just admit you lost and beat it. Go try to rob another company.
    williamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 12
    So... Epic is now bigger than the law and has a new job as judge of judges?

    Interesting. Sounds a lot like contempt. Not going to end well for the greedy ingrates.
    edited January 21 watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 12 of 12
    His primary failure, and one he will never get around unless this country goes to hell, is trying to define the iOS app ecosystem as a market in itself.  

    As has been said countless times here and elsewhere by many, Apple has as many issues as a “monopoly” on its own store and products as Toyota has with its “monopoly” on Camrys = none. 

    Judge Gonzales was pretty clear about Epic’s failure to address that and as far as I can tell it’s the crux of the whole case. Why any of this even got heard beyond “No, Sweeney, you can’t dictate Apple’s rules with Apple’s products” is beyond me. 

    Maybe Apple should have two options:

    Option 1: everything as it is, $99/year plus follow the rules and pay commission on sales for your use of their API’s. 

    Option 2: Use Apple’s store for free, after paying a few billion $ per year for use of their API’s.  

    Of course there’s a third option. Build apps without using any of Apple’s API’s and pay Apple nothing. They’re called web apps. And yes they suck compared to native apps. Native apps are much better because… guess why…?  Native apps have all the benefits of Apple’s API’s. 

    Sigh. 
    watto_cobra
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