Epic Games has lost an early appeal at the U.S. Supreme Court in its case against Apple over the 30 percent transaction tax it levies on third-party app developers. SCOTUS ruled that Apple is not required to change the “Apple Tax” right away.
Epic Games had asked the Supreme Court to lift an injunction by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which delayed an injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, which banned the current App Store practice of preventing third party app developers from offering users the option to pay outside of Apple’s ecosystem, avoiding the 30 percent charge popularly known as the Apple Tax.
Liberal Justice Elena Kagan, acting for the Supreme Court, denied Epic’s request to lift a decision by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that effectively delayed implementing an injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers barring certain App Store rules, while Apple pursues a Supreme Court appeal.
The 9th Circuit in April had upheld the injunction but in July put that decision on hold. Kagan handles emergency matters for the Supreme Court arising from a group of states including California.
Epic filed an antitrust lawsuit in 2020, accusing Apple of acting as an illegal monopolist by requiring consumers to get apps through its App Store and buy digital content inside an app using its own system – for which it charges up to a 30% commission.
While the ruling represents a setback for Epic Games, it merely ensures the 9th Circuit’s injunction remains in place. Apple must still win its appeal before the Supreme Court to overturn Judge Rogers’ injunction.
The case is Epic Games v. Apple, No. 23A78 in the Supreme Court of the United States.