Supreme Court sides with Apple in fight over app store rules

 August 10, 2023

This week saw the Supreme Court hand a legal victory to tech giant Apple this week in its ongoing antitrust battle.

According to the Washington Examiner, America's highest judicial body announced that Apple can continue using its current payment store practices.

Dispute dates back to 2020

In doing so, the Court turned down a request from video game creator Epic Games, which is fighting for the ability of iPhone users to purchase apps via other means.

The dispute stems from Epic Games' decision in 2020 to allow players of its game "Fortnight" to purchase the in-game currency known as "V-Bucks" directly from its website rather than through Apple's platform.

That move allowed "Fortnight" users to save money by avoiding the 30% markup which Apple charged to purchase the currency.

Apple retaliated for the loss of revenue by kicking "Fortnight" off of its app store, prompting Epic Games to assert in a lawsuit that Apple maintains an illegal "absolute monopoly."

Lower count found Apple to be in breach of California's Unfair Competition Act

A court determined in 2021 that while Apple was not in breach of federal antitrust legislation, it did violate California's Unfair Competition Act.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that ruling earlier this year along with an injunction requiring Apple to how it runs its app store's transaction system.

This in turn prompted Epic Games' request for the Supreme Court to maintain that injunction while Apple files an application for the justices to hear its case. However, the request was denied in an order issued on Wednesday by Justice Elena Kagan.

Case has implications for cryptocurrency traders

The Supreme Court's ruling was closely scrutinized by gaming industry observers, including the YouTube channel Happy Power, which tweeted a meme that read, "Free Fortnight."

Interest in the case is not limited to gamers, as the dispute between Apple and Epic Games also has implications for those who trade in cryptocurrency.

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