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Apple Wants The Supreme Court To Rule on Whether It Can Force Developers Into Its Restrictive App Store Rules

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Apple has set its sights on the US Supreme Court in a bid to reverse a court order that could potentially shake up the payment practices within its App Store. This development comes in the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, the creator of the popular video game Fortnite.

The point of contention stems from a 2021 order issued by US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, which barred Apple from preventing app developers from including links and buttons within their apps that direct consumers to payment options outside of the App Store.

Not only does Apple want to force all iPhone developers to use its App Store, it also wants those developers to be locked into Apple’s payment system.

Epic Games, dissatisfied with the commission fee that Apple was levying on in-app payments, initiated a lawsuit in 2020. The suit did not seek financial restitution but aimed to put an end to Apple’s commission-based payment practices through an injunction. While Judge Rogers didn’t accede to most of Epic’s demands, the aforementioned order, which Apple is now challenging, was granted.

Apple’s determination to have the highest court in the land review this issue comes after the San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals stood by the majority of Judge Roger’s directives. The appeals court’s stance remained unaltered even after both Apple and Epic Games beseeched the court to reconsider its decision in April.

Notably, Epic Games, which has accused Apple of employing restrictive app distribution and payment services, also has the option to turn to the Supreme Court.

In the court documents submitted this week, Apple’s legal team opined that the 9th Circuit had overstepped its bounds by slapping a nationwide injunction on Apple, alleging that it contravened California’s unfair competition law.

Apple is seeking an audience with the justices of the US Supreme Court, raising questions about judicial power and corporate practices in the digital marketplace.

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