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Epic Pushes To Overturn App Store Ruling In Opening Appeal Brief

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An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Epic Games has filed
its opening brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking to
overturn the previous ruling that Apple’s control over the iOS App Store
does not qualify as a monopoly. The company first gave notice of it
appeal in September, but Thursday’s filing is the first time it has laid
out its argument at length. “Epic proved at trial that Apple retrains
trade…by contractually requiring developers to exclusively use Apple’s
App Store to distribute apps and Apple’s IAP for payments for digital
content within apps,” the filing reads. “If not overturned, [the district
court] decision would upend established principles of antitrust law
and…undermine sound antitrust policy.” Epic’s first legal challenge to
Apple’s App Store restrictions came to a finish in September, when a
district court ordered Apple to roll back some restrictions on in-app
payments, but otherwise cleared the company of antitrust charges. A
separate appeal from Apple has been filed to reverse the new in-app
payment rules. In her ruling, Judge Gonzales Rogers was particularly
ambiguous on the question of whether Apple held monopoly power over the
mobile gaming market. “The evidence does suggest that Apple is near the
precipice of substantial market power, or monopoly power, with its
considerable market share,” she wrote in the decision. “Apple is only
saved by the fact that its share is not higher, that competitors from
related submarkets are making inroads into the mobile gaming submarket,
and, perhaps, because [Epic] did not focus on this topic.” In the appeals
brief, Epic seems determined to revisit that question, and draw a clearer
link between the iPhone’s success as a mobile gaming platform and a
potential monopoly case against Apple. “The district court’s factual
findings make clear,” the filing alleges, “that Apple’s conduct is
precisely what the antitrust laws prohibit.” In response to the filing,
Apple issued the following statement: “In its ruling last year, the
district court confirmed that Apple is not a monopolist in any relevant
market and that its agreements with app developers are legal under
antitrust laws. We are confident that the rulings challenged by Epic will
be affirmed on appeal.” …

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