The US justice department wants to have its say over Apple’s antitrust dispute with Epic Games, which will be heard on appeal next month – a year after a California court ruled largely in the iPhone maker’s favor.
On Friday, the appeals court granted the department the right to send a representative to the hearing scheduled for October 21, where both sides are expected to plead their cases again.
In 2021, a California judge ruled against Fortnite maker Epic, which had accused Apple of acting as a monopoly in its retail store for digital goods or services.
But the judge also banned Apple from banning developers from including in their apps “external links or other calls to action that lead customers to purchase mechanisms.”
Apple can still require that its payment systems be used for in-app transactions.
Both sides are attractive.
Earlier this year, at the appeal hearing, the Justice Department asked for time to express concerns about the judge’s interpretation of the antitrust law at issue in the case.
“The court has made several legal errors that could jeopardize effective antitrust enforcement, especially in the digital economy,” Justice Department lawyers argued in their briefing.
Justice officials have investigated whether Apple and other tech giants are abusing their market power with anti-competitive practices.
Attorneys from Apple, Epic and the Justice Department will all speak before the appeals court, which will also consider their written arguments.