Oh you thought this story was over? Oh, my sweet summer child; you don’t have two kaiju-sized corporations have the legal equivalent of a toddler slap fight without it being drawn out. Readers will recall that this whole debacle started back in 2020, when Epic Games used the mobile version of Fortnite to try and circumvent both Apple and Google’s payment processes, which Epic argued was monopolist.
The Apple v. Epic case dragged on like a sleepy overweight cat for the better part of 2020 and 2021, resulting in a ruling last September that saw in favor of Apple in nine of 10 counts but still resulted in an injunction to stop Apple from blocking third-party purchase mechanisms starting in December. Both sides immediately filed for appeal; Apple tried to get the third-party payment injunction paused, which was first denied but then was approved, while Epic’s appeal was backed by 35 states’ attorneys general and the US Justice Department.
The shrieking goat noises of the appellate process continue, as Apple is asking the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing the case to throw out Epic’s appeal outright, arguing that Epic is requiring the judiciary to “fundamentally change the App Store by forcing Apple to abandon the integrated distribution and digital-content delivery model that, among many other pro-competitive benefits, helps safeguard user security and privacy” while not offering any alternative solutions.
Both sides are able to file another round of arguments before the appeals panel sets up a full hearing, and that may not happen until sometime next year. Basically, we’re all just going to have to hunker down and wait for this next part of The Process™ to move forth.