U.S. states, DoJ, and Microsoft declare support for Epic Games in Apple trial

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What you need to know

  • Several big names have thrown their weight behind Epic Games in their legal case against Apple.
  • 35 U.S. states led by Utah and Microsoft have filed amicus curiae briefs with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • The Biden administration has also offered its support in a filing from the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division.

Big tech rival Microsoft, the Department of Justice, and 35 U.S. states have filed briefs in support of Epic Games in its upcoming appeal case versus Apple.

As noted by Florian Mueller:

35 U.S. states led by Utah and Microsoft have officially thrown their weight behind Epic's appeal through amicus curiae briefs filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The Attorney generals of Utah and 34 other states filed a brief, claiming the district court erred in its decision when it decided Apple did not have a monopoly on iOS app distribution, and further stated that Apple was stifling competition.

Another brief filed by Microsoft states "Microsoft brings a unique – and balanced – perspective to the legal, economic, and technological issues this case implicates" and stated that the permutations of the case stretch far beyond gaming and described Apple as having "extraordinary gatekeeper power."

Finally, the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice filed a similar amicus curiae brief. While the filing claims it is "in support of neither party", it goes on to assert that the district court in the original Apple vs Epic Games trial erred in a number of key areas in making its decision against Epic Games.

According to Mueller at Foss Patents, the Assistant Attorney General who heads up the Antitrust Division, Jonathan Kanter, worked as counsel for the Epic Games-backed Coalition for App Fairness before taking his role at the DOJ.

In its legal case against Apple, Epic Games is seeking to loosen the company's grip on its App Store, and to open up devices like the iPhone 13 and other iPhones and iPads to sideloading and alternative third-party payments. Apple faces similar pressure from the Senate in the form of a new emerging Big Tech Bill, which was recently branded by Michael R. Bloomberg as a bad idea that would harm both U.S. consumers and workers.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9