The U.S. Department of Justice wants to attend Apple vs. Epic Games

In August 2020, Epic Games sued Apple in the United States for removing Fortnite from the App Store, which had previously introduced changes that deliberately violate the store’s terms and conditions. The verdict in this case was handed down in September 2021, but both parties decided to appeal against it. As reported by the Reuters news agency, representatives of the US Department of Justice asked the court to attend the appeal hearing.

The appeal hearing, during which representatives of both parties will have 20 minutes to present their objections to the original sentence, is scheduled for Friday, October 21. The US Department of Justice asked the court to attend the hearing and 10 minutes to present its position. Although this institution does not officially support either side, in practice its appearance would be beneficial for Epic Games. The department’s representatives claim that the judge, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who was in charge of the case, misinterpreted the law in favor of Apple, and that its judgment could have a very negative impact on other monopolistic cases in the future.

Apple’s lawyers did not object to the participation of representatives of the US Department of Justice in the appeal hearing. However, they noted that the court should include their appearance in the time limit for Epic Games representatives or add an additional 10 minutes of Apple.

The verdict presented in September could hardly be considered a complete victory for either side. Epic Games was found guilty of breaching Apple’s contract and had to pay compensation of 30% of the amount earned by placing Fortnite’s payment system in violation of the store’s terms and conditions. The court also noted that Apple had the full right to remove Fortnite from the App Store and block Epic Games development accounts, and left the company a free hand as to whether it would allow the republication of the game and unlock the developer accounts. The judgment also mentioned that the court found no grounds to consider Apple’s actions as monopolistic practices. On the other hand, the court also found the App Store regulations to be unfair and harmful to developers and ordered changes to be made to allow the use of external payment systems in applications. Under the ruling, the firm had 90 days to comply with these requirements, but shortly before that date, its lawyers managed to secure a suspension of this sentence in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals pending the final conclusion of the trial.

Source: Reuters

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