Epic’s Tim Sweeney pledges more legal action as US Supreme Court rejects Apple lawsuit appeals

The legal battle between Epic Games and Apple shows no signs of slowing down. Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games, has announced plans for further legal action against Apple following recent developments in the US Supreme Court.

Epic Games made headlines in August 2020 when it filed a lawsuit against Apple after the tech giant removed the Fortnite developer account, ultimately blocking the game from its devices. The move came after Epic Games intentionally bypassed Apple’s App Store payment system, resulting in a violation of the agreed-upon platform fees.

The initial lawsuit culminated in a ruling in September 2021, with Judge Gonzalez-Rogers largely siding with Apple. While Epic Games did not succeed in most of its claims, the court did rule against Apple’s prohibition of developers linking out to alternative payment methods within their apps, citing it as “anti-competitive conduct” under state law.

Both Epic Games and Apple have pursued appeals following the ruling, but the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 2021 verdict. As a result, both parties sought intervention from the US Supreme Court, but those efforts were recently rejected.

As reported by Reuters, the US Supreme Court refused to hear Apple’s appeal regarding anti-steering, as well as Epic’s challenge against the ruling that Apple’s policies did not violate federal antitrust laws. Following this decision, Tim Sweeney expressed disappointment, declaring, “The court battle to open iOS to competing stores and payments is lost in the United States.”

Epic’s now-infamous Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite video.

In response to the court’s decision, Apple has adjusted its guidelines to allow developers to include external links and purchasing mechanisms within their apps, albeit with a 27 percent commission on proceeds initiated through external links within seven days. This move has been met with criticism from Tim Sweeney, who believes it is detrimental to developers. He has indicated that Epic Games will contest Apple’s compliance plan in District Court, signaling the company’s determination to continue its legal battle.

This latest development comes after Epic Games laid off 900 employees, citing financial instability. Despite these challenges, the company has partnered with Microsoft and rolled out new content for Fortnite, demonstrating its resilience and determination to overcome obstacles.

Apple continues to face legal challenges, particularly in the EU, with antitrust regulators raising concerns about the company’s anti-steering rules. This ongoing legal battle reflects the complexities and tensions within the tech industry, and the repercussions of these conflicts will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the gaming and technology landscape.