San Francisco Chronicle

Epic appeals Apple ruling


Epic Games has filed notice that it is appealing a federal judge’s decision in a lawsuit alleging that Apple has been running an illegal monopoly that stifles competitio­n.

The maker of the popular Fortnite video game said in a court filing Sunday that it will take the ruling to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

In a 185-page decision Friday, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ordered Apple to dismantle a lucrative part of the competitiv­e barricade guarding its closely run iPhone app store, but she rejected Epic’s allegation­s that Apple ran a monopoly.

The ruling continues to chip away at the socalled “walled garden” that Apple has built around its crown jewel, the iPhone, and its app store, without toppling it completely.

The decision also provided Apple with some vindicatio­n. The judge didn’t brand Apple a monopolist or require it to allow competing stores to offer apps for iPhones, iPads and iPods.

Those were two of the biggest objectives sought by Epic, which filed what it hoped would be a landmark antitrust case last year after brazenly defying an exclusive payment system that funnels 15% to 30% of all in-app digital transactio­ns on iPhones to Apple.

The judge did conclude Apple has been engaging in unfair competitio­n under California law, prompting her to order the company to allow developers throughout the U.S. to insert links to other payment options besides its own within iPhone apps. That change would make it easier for app developers to avoid paying Apple’s commission­s, potentiall­y affecting billions of dollars in revenue annually.

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