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Apple & Epic Both Ask US Appeals Court To Reconsider Antitrust Ruling

 |  June 8, 2023

Apple and Epic Games have jointly requested a US appeals court to reconsider its April ruling in an antitrust case that could result in Apple altering its payment policies in the App Store.

Apple and Epic have both filed challenges to a ruling made by a three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Lawyers representing both companies are requesting that the panel rehear the case or that the court convene an 11-judge panel to reconsider the dispute.

In the lawsuit between Epic and Apple, a three-judge ruling in April upheld a 2021 order by a federal court in California. The lawsuit accused Apple of requiring software developers to pay up to 30% in commissions on in-app purchases made by consumers, which was deemed unlawful.

Related: Apple Wins Battle With Epic Games Over App Store Rules

The trial judge determined that Apple breached a California state law regarding unfair competition, but not federal antitrust regulations. Apple filed a new motion contesting a nationwide ban on behavior that they argue is “procompetitive and does not contravene antitrust statutes.”

In its filing to the 9th Circuit, Epic claimed that its accusations against Apple relate to the fundamental goal of U.S. antitrust law, which is to promote competition. Additionally, Epic argued that the appeals court did not thoroughly evaluate the balance between the benefits to consumers and the negative impacts of Apple’s practices.

En banc requests are not frequently granted by federal appeals courts. In the last year, the 9th Circuit received 646 petitions for en banc rehearings and granted only 12. So far this year, the court has granted en banc review in nine cases.