34 States, DOJ Back Epic’s Antitrust Suit vs. Apple

    • A judge favored Apple in a court ruling against Epic Games in September.
    • Now, 34 state attorneys, the DOJ, and Microsoft are siding with Epic.

Epic Games appealed a judge’s ruling that favored Apple in an antitrust suit back in September. Now, 34 U.S. state attorneys, the Department of Justice, and Microsoft are siding with Epic.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that Epic must pay $3.65 million in damages to Apple for 30% of revenue from Epic’s “Fortnite” payment system, which Apple said went against its policies. 

Apple also wouldn’t have to restore “Fortnite” to the App Store, require third-party app stores, or lower its developer fees — 15% for companies with annual revenue under $1 million and 30% for everyone else. Hence, Epic’s appeal.

In a lawsuit filed on Thursday, the state attorneys emphasized Apple’s threat as it “continues to monopolize app distribution and in-app payment solutions,” adding, “Apple amassed billions in supracompetitive profits.”

  • Apple released its first-quarter revenue just hours before, recording a record $123.9 billion. 
  • Revenue at Apple’s Services business, which includes the App Store, increased 24%.

The DOJ called the original ruling “flawed,” citing wrongful applications of the Sherman Act. “The district court committed several legal errors that could imperil effective antitrust enforcement, especially in the digital economy,” the filing said.

Microsoft Backs Epic

Apple competitor Microsoft, which has recently had its own antitrust lawsuits, chimed in, too: “If Apple is allowed to step between any company with online services and users of iPhones, few areas of the vast mobile economy will be safe.”

The iPhone maker said it was confident the original ruling would be upheld.