Epic Games has asked the United States Supreme Court to take a look at the way Apple manages the App Store. In particular, Epic wants another look at how payments are handled and whether Apple should be able to take a cut of transactions made in apps and games.
This continues a years-long legal battle that began when Epic purposefully circumvented App Store rules by allowing in-game Fortnite payments to be made outside of Apple's App Store. Fortnite was kicked out of the store and hasn't been back since.
A legal battle ensued, with Epic claiming that Apple's 30% cut of payments made via the App Store is unfair, especially considering developers aren't allowed to use their own payment systems instead. Epic already mostly lost out after taking the matter to court, but now it wants the highest court in the land to take a look at the situation.
A legal do-over
The Supreme Court request was reported by TechCrunch and comes after Apple mostly won an appeals court battle over the way payments work on the iPhone and iPad. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld most of a previous decision issued by a federal judge in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that ruled Apple doesn't violate federal antitrust laws with its practices.
However, it wasn't a resounding victory. Epic did win in part, with the judge saying that Apple violates California's Unfair Competition Law by preventing developers from telling customers of alternative ways to pay outside of their apps.
It's likely to be months before we find out whether the Supreme Court has decided to take the case on, but with such a high-profile case all eyes will be on the decision no matter which way it falls.
For now, Fortnite remains unavailable in the iPhone and iPad's App Store. That's more of a shame now than ever, with Apple's best iPhones sporting better gaming performance than ever before thanks to their new A17 Pro chips.
Master your iPhone in minutes
iMore offers spot-on advice and guidance from our team of experts, with decades of Apple device experience to lean on. Learn more with iMore!
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.