Apple is wasting the last bullet in legal drama against Epic Games and it doesn’t look like it will work

The battle between Apple and Epic is as intense as ever, and in Cupertino they are fighting back, for now. For those who don’t know how it all started, it’s simple: Epic Games, the developers of Fortnite among other video games, are facing Apple not wanting to admit that they are functioning as a payment processor and save 30% of all purchases.

This all escalated until Epic removed in-app purchases from iOS and began directing users to their own payment provider. This was a clear violation of Apple’s terms, and seeing that they were not going to abide by them, Cupertino decided to remove the app from the App Storeexplaining to Epic that they can return when they follow the rules.

We already had two offers and a third could be coming

All this reached the court, and in September 2021, the first of the verdicts was handed down, in which both and neither of them were found to be correct at the same time. On the one hand, they said that what Apple practiced was not a monopoly, as Epic accused, but on the other Apple was forced to allow third-party payment systems. Both appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Apple for not wanting to allow payments through a system other than its own, and Epic for insisting it was a monopoly.

The decision on this appeal it was not particularly profitable for Apple. In fact, one of the judges (Milan D. Smith Jr.) was quite harsh on the company, stating that:

“While Apple’s motion arguments are not technically frivolous, they ignore key aspects of the panel’s reasoning and the district court’s main factual findings. Given our reasoning and the District Court’s findings, Apple’s arguments do not stand up to even the slightest scrutiny. Apple’s arguments about the status and scope of the injunction simply disguise its disagreement with the District Court’s findings and its objection to state liability under allegations of legal error.”

Simply put, this judge is saying that while Apple’s arguments are not absurd, once you question them a bit, they end up falling under their own weight. It also says that Apple is trying to pass off its opposition to the resolution as a legal error. That is, due to a misinterpretation of the law by the court, which the judge did not like.

The Supreme Court can decide everything…or ignore it.

If we were to stop there, Apple would have to allow these third-party payments, but that’s not going to happen. At least for now. in Cupertino succeeded in paralyzing the application of the decision of this Court of Appeal for 90 days so they can prepare their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This is the last court of the American country. There is only one figure capable of overturning one of their sentences, and that is a presidential pardon. Usually they do not respond to all requests that come to them. In fact, it’s normal that they don’t. If every year they receive 7000 resources, then they serve about 150.

There is no list of official requirements to know when a case will be heard and when it will not be in court, although they usually concern – at least that’s how the university explained it to me – those cases that involve circumstances. having special significance for the interpretation and application of the Constitution, international treaties or federal laws, or when the Court intends to change its mind on a certain doctrine (as happened recently with Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationthe case is quite minor, but it was it that was used to roll back the right to abortion in the United States to the situation before Rowe vs. Wade and return jurisdiction to the States).

I explain it by trying to understand the extent to which these things must reach the Supreme Court. Personally, I would be too surprised if they even wanted to read the file. It does not affect the Constitution, international treaties, or the interpretation of any federal law (although Apple’s lawyers tried to “squeeze” it into their appeal, as the judge previously explained).

From my point of view, most likely these 90 days will pass, the US Supreme Court will ignore what is presented to it, the restriction on the application of the decision of the court of appeal will be removed and Apple you are left with no choice but to allow third party payment processors. We’ll be watching closely to see what happens, but it’s not going well for those from Cupertino at first.

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