The Epic Games suit against Apple over App Store fees and policies has landed in the lap of a judge who previously ruled on favour of Apple in 2013, which saw the company defend itself against similar antitrust alligations.
Recently, Epic Games filed a lawsuit against the tech conglomerant. Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, launched an update which gave players a direct payment option, as opposed to Apple’s App Store payment solution. Apple quickly removed Fortnite from the App Store as the new update bypassed Apple’s in-app payments, which the company gains 30 percent of. Google quickly followed and removed Fortnite from the Google Play Store. Epic has also filed a suit against Google as well.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers took over the case from another judge. As it turns out, Rogers was the acting judge in a similar case in 2013. According to Bloomberg, Rogers dismissed a case claiming Apple’s monopoly cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars in overcharges. The case also saw the plaintiffs go after Apple’s 30 percent fees, aruging if it weren’t for the fixed cost, consumers would pay less.. Rogers decsion to rule in favour lied with Apple as she believed the cost is passed on to consumers by developers, rather than charged by Apple. Therefore, consumers are unable to sue for antitrust claims on passed-on charges.
Bloomberg spoke to a number of legal experts and members of the legal field on the matter. On source claimed that Rogers won’t stop Epic from getting ““its day in court,” as the case this time around is “frankly more compelling”.
“It’s going to be hard for a judge to look at the discount offer, hear all the evidence, and still conclude that Apple preventing such offers somehow benefits consumers,” said John Newman, former Justice Department antitrust attorney turned professor at the University of Miami School of Law.
Apple nor Epic Games has issued a statement on the matter.