US Department of Justice may join arguments in Apple-Epic antitrust lawsuit • TechCrunch


The US Department of Justice has had time to make its own case in the upcoming Apple vs. Epic Games appeal, with the state of California. On Friday, US Justice Department officials filed a request to present 10 minutes of oral argument during the trial, in addition to the 20 minutes of oral argument for each side. The attorneys said they wanted time to explain to the court the proper legal framework for assessing antitrust claims against Apple.

Although the Justice Department’s arguments will not technically support “neither side,” according to court filings, its intent is to state its existing concerns about how the lower courts originally ruled on the affair. In an amicus brief filed January 27, 2022, US officials said there were “multiple legal errors” in the district court’s analysis of US antitrust law, the Sherman Act, which could “jeopardize effective antitrust enforcement, especially in the digital economy,” the new filing explained.

Specifically, the DoJ was concerned about various aspects of this analysis, including how the lower court interpreted parts of the statute too narrowly, as well as other issues related to the lower court’s misunderstanding of the market. and Apple’s monopoly power over pricing, among others. The lawyers asked for time to present these errors to the court and explain how, if left uncorrected, they could harm antitrust enforcement beyond this single case.

The U.S. request to join arguments in this legal battle follows news that the Justice Department is in the early stages of preparing for its own antitrust lawsuit against Apple. US government lawyers interviewed affected parties, including app developers big and small, and even hardware makers like Tile. He probably doesn’t want a ruling in the Apple-Epic decision to set an antitrust precedent that could hurt his own future case.

In addition to the DoJ’s request, the State of California has also requested time to make submissions in court to present its views on how the court should assess its consumer protection law known as the name of California’s unfair competition law.

Both requests were granted, according to documents filed with the courts Friday evening. The United States was granted 10 minutes of oral argument and the State of California was granted five minutes. Apple is also granted an additional 10 minutes of oral argument time on top of the time already allotted, the filing says.

Apple-Epic’s original decision left neither party entirely satisfied, leading both sides to appeal the decision last fall.

While Apple largely won the case as the court ruled the tech giant was not a monopoly, it challenged the part of the ruling that said Apple should stop banning app developers from add links for alternative payments in their apps. While the case is on appeal, Apple has received permission to suspend these ordered App Store changes. Epic Games, meanwhile, had appealed the decision because it still wants to prove that Apple is acting anticompetitively and wants the courts to force Apple to support alternative payments and third-party app stores.

Order allowing the US DoJ to litigate in the Apple-Epic lawsuit by Tech Crunch on Scribd


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