The US Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed an order to take effect that could reduce Apple’s control over its lucrative iPhone App Store, depriving one of the world’s most profitable companies of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. May fall.
Judges reject Apple’s appeal against lower court ruling that Apple’s store rules Regarding applications purchased on over 1 billion iPhones What constitutes unfair competition under California law.
The appeal stems from an antitrust lawsuit filed in 2020 by Epic Games, maker of the popular video game Fortnite. Epic loses its general lawsuit accusing Apple Violation of federal antitrust law, and judges also rejected the appeal on Tuesday.
But rejecting Apple’s effort to maintain exclusive control over in-app payments, the court lifted a stay on the order that allows U.S. app developers to add links to payment options other than their own in iPhone apps. This change will allow developers to avoid paying Apple commission, From 15% to 30%.
Those fees have become a key part of Apple’s services division, which generated $85 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year that ended in September. The possibility that consumers may use other payment channels to transact from apps is one of many factors influencing Apple’s stock, which is down 5% so far this year.
Legal fight against epic
This reduction has allowed Microsoft, Apple’s arch rival, to overtake it as the most valuable company. Apple shares fell 2% in afternoon trading on Tuesday, causing the company to suffer a loss Market cap around $2.8 trillion, Microsoft, whose shares have risen 3% so far this year, is valued at 2.9 trillion dollars.
Epic alleged that Apple’s App Store has become a monopoly that stifles innovation and competition while generating billions of dollars in profits for Apple. Although a federal judge rejected claims that Apple has a monopoly on mobile apps, she ruled that consumers should have more freedom to decide how to make payments with apps.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Supreme Court’s rejection or how it would approach the decision. September 2021Issued by District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers.
On Tuesday, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney called the Supreme Court’s denial “a sad outcome for developers,” though he appreciated the potential for allowing consumers to get “better prices on the web.”
In August 2020, Epic tried to offer an option to download its own apps, in an effort to avoid Apple’s fees. The fee is charged when players purchase digital merchandise from Fortnite and other games.
Apple banned Epic from its App Store when it tried to circumvent the company’s restrictions.
Although Epic lost most of its lawsuits in the Apple case, last month it won a lawsuit against Google and its Android phone app store, known as the Play Store, almost as a result of its legal action against Apple. Was similar. A federal judge must still determine what changes Google must make to its Play Store.