Dozens of US States Say Apple Stifles Competition, Back 'Fortnite' Maker Epic
Friday January 28, 2022. 03:14 PM , from Slashdot
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Apple is stifling competition through its mobile app store, attorneys general for 34 U.S. states and the District of Columbia said on Thursday, as they appealed against a ruling that let the iPhone maker continue some restrictive practices. While dozens of state attorneys general have filed recent antitrust lawsuits against other big tech companies, including Facebook owner Meta Platforms and Alphabet's Google, none had so far taken aim at Apple. Thursday's remarks, led by the state of Utah and joined by Colorado, Indiana, Texas and others, came in a lawsuit in an appeals court against app store fees and payment tools between 'Fortnite' video game maker Epic Games and Apple. 'Apple's conduct has harmed and is harming mobile app-developers and millions of citizens,' the states said. 'Meanwhile, Apple continues to monopolize app distribution and in-app payment solutions for iPhones, stifle competition, and amass supracompetitive profits within the almost trillion-dollar-a-year smartphone industry.' The states said in their filing that the lower court erred by failing to adequately balance the pros and cons of Apple's rules and also by deciding that a key antitrust law did not apply to non-negotiable contracts Apple makes developers sign. 'Paradoxically, firms with enough market power to unilaterally impose contracts would be protected from antitrust scrutiny -- precisely the firms whose activities give the most cause for antitrust concern,' they said.
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