Apple requires developers to distribute software through its App Store, where Apple charges up to 30% commissions.
Apple has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down an order that directs Apple to make changes to its App Store rules. The order came after an antitrust case was brought against Apple by Epic Games.
Epic Games, in 2020, alleged that Apple’s software distribution rules violate antitrust laws. Both the companies have been in a legal battle since then. Although Epic lost on those claims in a 2021 trial, a U.S. district court judge ruled that Apple’s practice of banning software developers from telling customers about alternative payment methods violated a California unfair competition law.
After the court’s decision, the judge in the trial ordered Apple to change its rules for all developers in the U.S. App Store. This decision was later upheld by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. However, these orders are currently on hold until the Supreme Court either makes a decision on the case or decides not to hear it.
Apple argued on Thursday that the lower court orders violate the U.S. Constitution because they go beyond the authority of a federal judge. They claimed that the trial judge based the decision on a case brought by a single developer, rather than considering a larger group of developers. Apple also argued that it wasn’t proven that a nationwide ban was necessary to address the harm caused by Epic.
“That approach eviscerates the constitutional limitations on federal courts’ authority and, unless corrected by this Court, would render universal injunctions the default remedy in single-plaintiff cases challenging a generally applicable policy,” Apple wrote in its filing with the U.S. Supreme Court.