Epic Games has decided to appeal the decision by a federal judge in a lawsuit against tech giant Apple alleging that the iPhone maker has been running an illegal monopoly that stifles competition.
According to a court filing, the Fortnite video game creator said that it will take the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Also read: Apple vs Epic Games: All about the anti-trust case
US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers had on Friday ordered Apple to dismantle a lucrative part of the competitive barricade guarding its closely run iPhone app store while rejecting Epic’s allegations that the company ran a monopoly.
Epic’s notice of appeal said it would appeal the final judgment “and all orders leading to or producing that judgment.”
The decision provided Apple with some vindication as the judge did not brand Apple as 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.
Such transactions can include everything from Netflix or Spotify subscriptions to the sale of digital items such as songs, movies, or virtual tchotchkes for video games. Epic cast that highly lucrative fee as a price-gouging tactic that wouldn’t be possible if competing stores were allowed to offer iPhone apps.
While parts of her decision raised questions about whether Apple’s fees were driving up prices for consumers, Gonzalez Rogers left the fee structure intact and upheld the company’s right to block other stores from offering apps for its iPhone. She sided with Apple on every other key point of the case.
But 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 US 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.
Apple did its best to frame the decision as a complete victory, even as it acknowledged it may appeal the portion of the ruling that will make it easier for app developers to sidestep Apple’s commissions.
(With AP inputs)