Supreme Court Declines To Review Epic’s App Store Case

Apple will have to comply with a sweeping injunction reshaping its relationship with mobile app developers and potentially billions of dollars in app-related sales, after the US Supreme Court declined to review the lower court’s order on Tuesday, CNN reported.

Apple estimated in 2022 that developers generated $1.1 trillion in the App Store that year, making the high court’s decision not to hear the case a major blow to Apple.

According to CNN, Apple generally takes a 30% cut of in-app purchases of digital goods and services, though it takes a lower 15% cut in some situations and the company has said many app makers pay no commission at all.

The company for years has sought to prevent app makers from using buttons, links, or other features within iOS to direct consumers to purchase in-app content through payment channels other than Apple’s.

By not hearing Apple’s petition, the Supreme Court leaves in place a nationwide injunction prohibiting Apple from intervening when developers include such features in their apps.

It also highlights how a lawsuit triggered by “Fortnite”-maker Epic Games appears to have resulted in lasting changes to Apple’s app store, affecting potentially millions of apps across iOS.

In a related decision, the Supreme Court declined to hear Epic’s own appeal, which claimed that lower courts had wrongly concluded Apple’s app store practices did not violate federal antitrust law but did violate aspects of California’s unfair competition law.

In a thread posted on X, the platform formally known as Twitter, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said that while the court’s rejection of its petition was “a sad outcome” in Epic’s fight to force open Apple’s app store, the surviving injunction will allow app-makers “to tell US customers about better prices on the web.”

Reuters reported that the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a challenge to a lower court’s decision requiring changes to certain rules in its lucrative App Store, as the justices shunned the lengthy battle between the iPhone maker Epic Games, maker of the popular game “Fortnite.”

Reuters wrote that the justices also turned away Epic’s appeal of the lower court’s ruling that Apple’s App Store policies limiting how software is distributed and paid for do not violate federal antitrust laws. The justices gave no reasons for their decision to deny the appeals.

According to Reuter’s Apple’s stock fell more than 2% in early trading on Tuesday.

Personally, I think this is the end of the litigation road for both Apple and Epic Games in this specific situation. The Supreme Court appears to be done with this particular case.