Sam Bowman on the Epic-Apple decision

Law360 – ICLE Director of Competition Policy Sam Bowman was quoted by Law360 in a story about a federal district court order enjoining Apple from enforcing its anti-steering policy. The full story is available (behind a subscriber firewall) here.

The International Center for Law & Economics issued a statement Friday praising the ruling for finding that Apple did not violate antitrust law but blasted the injunction banning the anti-steering rules. The group’s director of competition policy, Sam Bowman, said the order is vaguely written and is likely to be interpreted differently by the different parties involved.

“If it allows app developers to link users outside of the in-app payments flow, and bypass Apple’s … fees, it would enable free riding and undermine the incentive for Apple to invest” in its mobile devices, Bowman said, adding that it also reduces incentives for Apple’s competitors to invest “in whatever product might someday displace it through competition.”

“The winners are likely to be large companies like Epic, Amazon, and Match, who will be able to keep more profit for themselves, but it is hard to see how either consumers or innovation will benefit,” Bowman said.