California AG Submits Amicus Brief in Epic vs. Apple Appeal

  • California AG Rob Bonta submitted an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Epic Games, Inc. v. Apple, Inc., that did not support either party but called for a broad and flexible interpretation of the state’s Unfair Competition Law.
  • 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 AG’s amicus brief argues that the state’s UCL creates a broad equitable standard which enables courts to redress many forms of unfair conduct, even when such conduct is not unlawful under another law. The amicus brief further asserts that the California Supreme Court has held that a plaintiff is not required to establish a concurrent antitrust violation under a different law to qualify for relief under the UCL.
  • As previously reported, a bipartisan coalition of 35 AGs also filed an amicus brief in the case, arguing in favor 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.