Dan Gilman on Epic v Apple
A think tank has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to take up Apple’s bid to nix an injunction blocking anti-steering rules in its App Store, saying the nationwide ban would affect a host of developers, not just Epic Games, who brought the case.
The International Center for Law & Economics, or ICL&E, filed an amicus brief Friday supporting Apple’s petition targeting the Ninth Circuit’s findings that its rules barring app developers from steering users to outside payment options violate California’s Unfair Competition Law.
…The brief on Friday argued that the lower court recognized the benefits of Apple’s “walled-garden” ecosystem, where it uses strict control to increase privacy and data security, but said the order blocking the anti-steering rules “undercuts precisely those benefits.”
“The district court’s sweeping remedy risks harming the vast majority of app developers, who have not requested the injunction and are now operating on the iOS for free,” the brief said. “And it may ultimately harm tens of millions of consumers using Apple’s App Store and iOS.”Daniel Gilman, a senior scholar of competition policy for ICL&E, told Law360 on Monday that the key issue from a legal and economic standpoint is that the injunction impacts “millions of developers,” not just Epic. Gilman also noted that a group of smaller developers reached a settlement with Apple that included changes that did not go as far as those imposed by the court.
“Many developers — especially smaller ones and those distributing free apps — would actually be harmed by this injunction, and they’ve had no voice in Epic’s case,” Gilman said. “Apple would be able to charge them directly, and it would have every incentive to do so.”
…Gilman also told Law360 on Monday there’s no reason for the court to issue a nationwide injunction under California law anyway, since it would be easy to identify the developers that have allegedly been harmed, saying it would include at most Epic and the 100 or so developers that use Epic’s app store.