Apple’s Alleged Monopoly in iOS Apps Targeted by Bipartisan Group of Attorneys General

  • A bipartisan group of 35 AGs, led by Utah AG Sean Reyes, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Epic Games, Inc. v Apple, Inc., Nos. 21-16506 & 21-16695, in support of Epic’s position that Apple has a monopoly over iOS apps and that it exercises its monopoly power to harm competition in violation of the federal Sherman Act and California’s Cartwright Act.
  • Epic, the maker of the blockbuster game Fortnite, sued Apple seeking to install its own app store on iPhones to make in-game offers to players without paying Apple a percentage of each sale. The district court’s decision held that Apple’s app store and its in-app purchasing system were not unfairly monopolizing the mobile iOS apps market, but it also ordered Apple to stop banning developers from promoting alternatives to Apple’s in-app purchasing system. Both sides appealed.
  • The amicus brief argues that the district court’s decision should be overturned because the court erred in finding that Section 1 of the Sherman Act does not apply to a “unilateral contract.” The brief also argues that the district court misapplied the rule of reason test for analyzing the challenged restraint’s effects on competition by never weighing the anticompetitive and procompetitive effects of Apple’s conduct to determine its net impact.