US Supreme Court Declines to Hear Apple vs. Epic Games Case

The United States Supreme Court today declined to hear separate requests from both Apple and Epic Games in their long-standing lawsuit against each other with regards to App Store rules.

Apple made the request in September 2023, asking the Supreme Court to hear its appeal about the portion of its legal dispute that was ruled in Epic’s favor. This was Apple’s so-called “anti-steering” rule that bars developers of many iOS apps from directing users to methods of purchase available outside of the ‌App Store‌, circumventing Apple’s revenue cut.

The Supreme Court also declined to hear a request from Epic Games to make a ruling on the case. The Supreme Court was the last stop for ‌Epic Games‌ after it lost an appeal earlier this year. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in April 2023 sided with the lower court and ruled that Apple’s ‌App Store‌ rules do not violate antitrust law by not allowing for third-party marketplaces.

The dispute between Apple and Epic dates back to 2020 with Epic seeking to overturn Apple’s ‌App Store‌ rules requiring content purchases within iOS apps to go through Apple, which takes a 15% to 30% cut of the revenue.

In multiple rounds of the dispute, Apple has won on every count with the exception of just one regarding Apple’s “anti-steering” rule. In July 2023, a judge ruled that Apple did not have to make changes to its policies.

As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision today, the previous rulings stand and Apple is able to continue to disallow third-party payment processing within apps, but will have to allow developers to inform users about other purchasing options outside of the ‌App Store‌.

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