Apple won support in its argument for control of its App Store on Thursday. In a series of presentations related toA group of former homeland security officials, developers and business advocacy groups largely said the courts shouldn’t get in the way of Apple’s approach to managing apps on its iPhones and iPads.
The reports, more than a dozen in all, echoed many of the concerns Apple has raised.about how you handle payments on your App Store. Apple says it should be allowed to moderate and control which apps can and can’t be offered on an iPhone. .
A filing signed by former defense officials and leaders of US government agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the National Security Council, told the court that forcing changes to Apple’s App Store could lead to security problems, including malware and spyware.
As Apple has argued, the group said consumers should have the option to buy products with a stronger focus on security. “If Epic were to prevail, competition for higher quality device security would be stifled and courts would be forced into unwelcome regulatory stances that would open the door to increased risk of security threats,” the group wrote.
The successful online game Roblox wrote that his support for Apple stems from concern for its many underage users. “Apple’s process for reviewing and approving apps available on the App Store enhances security and gives those apps greater legitimacy in the eyes of users,” Roblox wrote. “This is an important benefit that all apps, including Roblox, enjoy by choosing to be part of the Apple ecosystem.”
Epic declined to comment further.
The reports follow a series of arguments from both Epic and Apple asfrom a California district judge who largely agreed with Apple’s arguments that it had not violated antitrust laws. The case is currently before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The two companies began suing each other in August 2020, when Apple banned Fortnite from its App Store over a disagreement over its payment processing systems. Apple requires developers who sell digital items, such as new looks for game characters, to use its payment processing systems and pay commissions of 15% to 30%, which Apple says helps fund the technology and management of your store.
The case and its appeal process, which is expected to stretch into next year, has drawn the attention of the tech industry, lawmakers, legal scholars and policy experts in the hope that the case will help lay the groundwork foror potentially solidify the ones already on the books.
As the case unfolds, Epic has also found defenders. Microsoft, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and 35 states threw their support behind the Fortnite maker in January, arguing in their legal documents that “Apple’s conduct has harmed and is harming mobile app developers and millions of citizens.”
State attorneys general further argued that Apple has monopolized app distribution and in-app payment solutions for the iPhone, allowing it to “rack up supra-competitive profits within the smartphone industry of nearly $1 trillion a year.” “.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta expressed concern about the case Thursday but was unclear. On the other hand the argued that the California Supreme Court should opine about how your state’s Unfair Competition Law applies to your case. The law “has protected countless Californians from illegal, unfair and fraudulent business practices,” she wrote. “It is essential that the 9th Circuit, regardless of the outcome of this particular dispute, interpret the law correctly.” Beyond being the home of Apple, California is also where the Fortnite case was filed.
The Justice Department raised its own concerns about the case in a filing earlier this year, though it did not take sides. The department wrote that the district court “made several legal errors that could jeopardize effective antitrust enforcement, especially in the digital economy.” The Justice Department specifically called the court’s interpretation of the Sherman Lawa key US antitrust law passed in 1890, saying it was read “in a narrow and wrong way.”