Apple appeals ruling in Epic Games Antitrust case
Epic Games and Apple had a long-running legal battle over the latter’s App Store monopoly. Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that Epic’s attempt to sue for damages for lost sales of five of its games was an attempt to “bring an antitrust claim that had no basis in fact or law,” despite using “implausible and inflated figures” to make the case. Epic’s suit was based on a report by Duke Law School’s Greg M. Smith and Andrew J. Hayner, who claimed that Apple had “strangled the growth of app sales for years.”
Epic Games has been embroiled in a legal battle with Apple for a while now, and this week, a California court ruled that the iPhone maker should pay the Fortnite creator $3.9 billion for copyright infringement! so scroll down for a quick recap.
Epic Games has appealed a ruling by the European Union’s antitrust regulator that it violated antitrust laws by forcing Apple to pay a 30 percent fee on app purchases through the App Store. The case against Epic was brought by the European Commission in 2014, alleging that Epic abused its market dominance by forcing Apple to pay the fee.
The epic saga continues. Last week, Epic Games appealed last week’s ruling in antitrust battle with Apple. The appeal—filed with the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York—argues that the jury was wrong to find Epic guilty of monopolizing the app store market. Epic says the jury was wrong to hold the company liable for not taking its complaint—that Apple was abusing its monopoly power—correctly to the Federal Trade Commission. Epic also dismissed the jury’s finding that the company violated the Sherman Act by entering the app store too early.
In a landmark victory for Epic Games, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has reversed a jury verdict that found that Epic Games should pay Apple a quarter of a billion dollars in damages. Epic Games had been ordered to pay Apple the 30% royalty fee for iOS games that run on the rival company’s devices. The verdict was a significant victory for Epic Games, which has been fighting Apple for years over the conflicts.
Epic Games, the company behind the hugely successful “Unreal” series of games, has been in an ongoing legal battle with Apple since 2009 when Apple accused the company of “failing to properly disclose” that they were taking part in a collusive scheme to keep the prices of the popular “Games for Windows Live” service artificially inflated. The court’s decision yesterday to side with Apple against the company is a major boost for the iPhone maker, which has long claimed that they were being unfairly disadvantaged in the market by the online platform.
Apple and two of its subsidiaries, Apple Inc. and Apple Inc. (App Store), Inc. (Apple), appeared in federal court last week to appeal a final ruling in a damages and injunctive relief case brought in 2011 by Epic Games, Inc. ( Epic) against Apple and other defendants (the App Store and the App Store Defendants). The court’s ruling in Epic Games, Inc. v. Apple Inc., Case No. 5:11-CV-040896 (S.D. Cal. Dec. 21, 2012) affirmed, among other things, the February 19, 2011 ruling by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, which held that the App Store Defendants, acting through the App Store.
Epic Games, the company behind the Unreal Engine, announced last week that it had filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit against the order by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that Apple pay $35 million in damages to Epic Games. U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California granted the injunction in May 2014, which banned Apple from selling iOS apps that used any of Unreal Engine’s technology.
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