Apple’s legal battle against Epic Games continues and yesterday the Cupertino company filed an opening brief in the United States Court of Appeals.
Apple and Epic Games decided to appeal the first decision, as neither company was happy with the outcome. Epic lost on almost all fronts as many of its claims were not accepted by the judges, while Apple was forced to make changes to the App Store that are still pending. of the call.
Yesterday, Apple filed its latest case with the Court of Appeal. In the brief, the company claims that “Epic Games” lost the case not because of a legal error, but because of its unprecedented and baseless allegations of anti-competitive behavior. Apple cites several passages from the original decision that highlight Epic’s failures.
“Epic built its case on witnesses who lacked credibility and were unreliable, testimonies totally lacking in evidence. They were willing to tell the truth in support of Epic’s desired outcome. At trial, their theories were found to be contrived, ill-conceived and driven by litigation. Epic has never been able to prove any of its claims. »
Apple says Epic is using the appeal to try to change the truth because it can’t show any legal error in the district court’s original decision. To win the appeal, Epic must therefore prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the findings of the first tribunal were wrong and Apple believes that this will not happen.
According to Apple, Epic made sweeping claims on the fringe of antitrust law that failed, so there’s no reason to overturn the original decision. Apple also claims that Epic is unable to make any further arguments on the App Store as it is no longer an iOS developer, as their account has been terminated.
“Epic had the burden of proving, among other things, that the challenged limitations were unreasonable trade restrictions within a framework agreed to by the parties before the start of the trial. After a 16-day trial, the district court found that Epic failed to bear the burden of proof for each of its antitrust claims.
This should come as no surprise: throughout the history of the App Store, it’s undisputed that prices have only gone down, while production has exploded. These are the characteristics of competition, not monopolization. To overturn the decision, that court would have to deviate from the consolidated law and ignore the detailed factual findings of the district court. »
Several California attorneys general have teamed up to file an amicus pleading in favor of Epic Games, but Apple says it was done to “to make it easier for them to win antitrust cases in the future”. Microsoft has also backed “Epic Games” and, according to Apple, the company is simply pursuing a selfish strategy to stand out from other platforms while earning hundreds of millions of dollars from its partnership with Epic.
The original ruling ruled that Apple’s provisions preventing developers from connecting to external payment methods were unfair under California’s unfair competition law, leading the judge to order the company to bring changes to the App Store to allow developers to use third-party payment methods. Apple’s filing also addresses this, saying the court erred in the decision.
“UCL’s injunction cannot stand because the anti-competitive behavior was not warned. Even the App Store rules aren’t unfair under California law, as the appeals court has already confirmed. For this reason, even the district court does not have the power to impose such an injunction.
Epic failed to prove irreparable harm to itself. Additionally, this is not a class action and any injunction shall be limited to Epic under federal and state law. »
Apple says its appeal focuses on purely legal issues, unlike Epic’s appeal, which instead asks the court to review and vary the factual findings of the original lawsuit and change the law.
After this filing, amicus briefs in favor of Apple will be presented in the coming months. Shortly after, Apple and Epic will file further briefs before the court sets a date to hear arguments. Given the timeline, Apple expects a decision to be made by summer 2023 at the earliest.