Monday, September 26, 2022

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Dozens of US States Say Apple Stifles Competition, Back ‘Fortnite’ Maker Epic


An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Apple is stifling
competition through its mobile app store, attorneys general for 34 U.S.
states and the District of Columbia said on Thursday, as they appealed
against a ruling that let the iPhone maker continue some restrictive
practices. While dozens of state attorneys general have filed recent
antitrust lawsuits against other big tech companies, including Facebook
owner Meta Platforms and Alphabet’s Google, none had so far taken aim at
Apple. Thursday’s remarks, led by the state of Utah and joined by
Colorado, Indiana, Texas and others, came in a lawsuit in an appeals
court against app store fees and payment tools between “Fortnite” video
game maker Epic Games and Apple. “Apple’s conduct has harmed and is
harming mobile app-developers and millions of citizens,” the states said.
“Meanwhile, Apple continues to monopolize app distribution and in-app
payment solutions for iPhones, stifle competition, and amass
supracompetitive profits within the almost trillion-dollar-a-year
smartphone industry.” […] The states said in their filing that the
lower court erred by failing to adequately balance the pros and cons of
Apple’s rules and also by deciding that a key antitrust law did not apply
to non-negotiable contracts Apple makes developers sign. “Paradoxically,
firms with enough market power to unilaterally impose contracts would be
protected from antitrust scrutiny — precisely the firms whose activities
give the most cause for antitrust concern,” they said. …


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