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In a pivotal move, Epic Games has officially submitted a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court, marking a critical juncture in its prolonged legal tussle with tech behemoth Apple.
This maneuver comes on the heels of Epic’s recent setback, as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Apple earlier this year, affirming that Apple’s App Store policies do not infringe on antitrust regulations by limiting third-party marketplaces.
Since 2020, Epic has been steadfast in its pursuit of an industry-altering ruling that would allow it to bypass the confines of the App Store and deliver applications directly to consumers through sideloading or alternative platforms. The central objective: circumvent Apple’s 30 percent revenue share on digital purchases, particularly the sale of coveted Fortnite digital skins.
Epic’s extensive 488-page submission articulates multiple grounds for the Supreme Court’s intervention, spotlighting perceived judicial missteps and emphasizing the far-reaching implications of this case. A pivotal verdict could potentially reshape the App Store ecosystem, influencing hundreds of thousands of developers.
The fate of Epic’s plea now rests in the hands of the Supreme Court, which selectively takes on a fraction of the cases it is presented with annually. It’s a pivotal moment for both gaming and tech industry landscapes, with potential ramifications for the future of app distribution.
Crucially, the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling upheld the lower court’s directive, affirming that Apple must permit developers to guide users toward alternative purchasing options beyond the App Store. This contentious issue is one that Apple has fiercely contested, potentially leading to its own petition to the Supreme Court on this particular aspect of the case.
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Notably, Apple was granted a 90-day window post the appeals court’s verdict to determine whether it would seek Supreme Court intervention. As of now, Apple has not yet reached out to the Supreme Court, and the 90-day period has not elapsed. Once this deadline looms, Apple will be compelled to either seek the Court’s judgment or initiate the App Store adjustments mandated by the ruling.