Epic Games filed a notice of appeal on Sunday following a judge’s decision in its antitrust lawsuit against Apple Inc. US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers mostly sided with Apple, rejecting Epic’s claims that the iPhone maker is a monopoly. She also did not rule that Apple needs to restore Fortnite, Epic’s hit game at the centre of the lawsuit, to the App Store or Epic’s Apple developer account. Rogers also rejected the need for third-party App Stores and did not force Apple to lower its App Store revenue cut of 15 per cent to 30 per cent. The judge, however, said that Apple has engaged in some anticompetitive conduct and she ordered the Cupertino, California-based technology giant to allow all app and game developers to steer consumers to outside payment methods on the web. All developers for the first time could be able to include a button in their apps to let users pay for transactions online, circumventing Apple’s fees. Gonzalez Rogers also ordered Epic to pay at least US$4 million in damages to Apple for breach of contract, which included collecting payments outside Apple’s in-app-purchase system. While her decision could take a potentially big bite out of the profitability of the App Store – estimated at more than US$20 billion a year with a profit margin above 75 per cent – Gonzalez Rogers mostly sided with Apple, rejecting Epic’s claims that the iPhone maker is a monopoly did not go as far as Epic had sought. Still, the evidence outlined in the three-week Epic trial in Oakland, California, cast a harsh light on tech’s power and will help build the larger case against Apple and other technology giants including Alphabet Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Facebook Inc. Apple called Friday’s ruling a vindication. An Epic representative confirmed the filing and declined to comment further. Apple’s App Store dealt major blow by judge in Epic antitrust case Epic sued Apple in August 2020, after the iPhone-maker removed the Fortnite game from its App Store because the gaming company created a workaround to paying a 30 per cent fee on customers’ in-app purchases. Epic was not seeking monetary damages, but sought a court order to stop what it called Apple’s “illegal restraints” on competition. This case is part of Epic’s global campaign against the world’s most valuable company. Epic, which took in more than US$5 billion from Fortnite last year, also has filed complaints against Apple in the European Union, Britain and Australia, and the game maker is suing Google over its Google Play store.
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