Meta, Microsoft, And X Join Epic Games In Battle Against Apple’s App Store Policies

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Several major tech companies, including Microsoft, Meta Platforms, Match Group, and Elon Musk’s X, have joined forces with Epic Games in its ongoing dispute with Apple over the tech giant’s App Store policies.

The coalition of technology firms, known for their popular apps available on the App Store, accused Apple of flouting a court-ordered injunction from September 2021. This injunction was intended to regulate payments within the App Store ecosystem.

Meta, Microsoft, And X Join Epic Games In Battle Against Apple's App Store Policies

According to the companies, Apple’s actions make it challenging for users to find alternative, cheaper payment methods for digital content, thereby violating the terms of the injunction.

Apple has not directly responded to these allegations, instead referring to its previous statement where it claimed full compliance with the court’s orders. The company maintains that its practices safeguard consumers and the integrity of its ecosystem, while also ensuring fair treatment for developers.

The conflict between Apple and Epic Games dates back to 2020 when Epic sued Apple for alleged antitrust violations, particularly its requirement for apps to be distributed exclusively through the App Store and its imposition of up to 30% commissions on purchases.

The court’s injunction mandated that Apple allow developers to include buttons and links directing users to alternative payment options. However, Epic contends that Apple’s recent changes, including a new fee structure, render these links ineffective.

In their filing on Wednesday, the tech companies argued that Apple’s actions effectively upheld illegal anti-steering rules, bolstering the company’s commission rates at the expense of developers and consumers alike.

The restrictions imposed by Apple on how developers can communicate with users regarding in-app purchases create significant barriers to competition, leading to artificially inflated prices, the filing further stated.

Despite Apple’s attempts to appeal the injunction, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case in January, signaling a continuation of the legal battle between the tech giants. Apple now has until 3rd April to formally respond to Epic’s latest filing.

Apple, headquartered in Cupertino, California, and Epic Games, based in Cary, North Carolina, remain at the center of this high-profile case, which is being closely watched within the tech industry.

The legal proceedings are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, with the case titled “Epic Games Inc v Apple Inc” (No. 20-05640).

With the legal fight ongoing, the tech industry watches closely to see how it will affect the future of app distribution and payment systems.