Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court

Epic has taken what's presumably the final step in its antitrust legal battle with Apple over App Store fees, as The Verge reports Epic has petitioned the Supreme Court to intervene and have a final say in the matter. The filing starts with a surprisingly concise summary of the questions presented:
This case presents two critical questions regarding the legal standards governing the Rule of Reason, which determines the outcome of nearly every Sherman Act case. It is well settled that a restraint that has both pro- and anti- competitive effects is unlawful if a ‘less-restrictive alternative” will achieve the same benefits while harming competition less. The circuits are divided, however, on two issues that were outcome-determinative in this case (1) the legal test for identifying a less-restrictive alternative; and (2) if no less-restrictive alternative exists, whether the restraint is valid even when (as in this case) the court finds harms to competition that vastly outweigh the benefits.

The Questions Presented are:

  1. Must a less restrictive alternative be free from additional costs to the defendant?
  2. If there is no less-restrictive alternative, is the restraint invalid if the harms to competition substantially outweigh the restraint’s procompetitive justification?

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23 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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23.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 29, 2023, 19:43
Kxmode
 
23.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 29, 2023, 19:43
Sep 29, 2023, 19:43
 Kxmode
 
Prez wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 20:09:
Kxmode wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 18:56:
Prez wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 07:41:
Honest answer - they are a trillion dollar company whose phones still cost over $1000. Am I supposed to be stupid enough to assume razor-thin profit margins there?
I picked up a brand-new iPhone SE for $400. I'm calling nonsense on your "still cost over $1000" statement.

I've been wrong before, but how come the new iPhone 15's I saw in the Verizon store the other day started at $1100?
Because you're looking at the 2023 Tesla with all the perks. The "SE" is a 2023 Toyota Corolla... and that's fine by me.
"...and in stonks, Fizzy Squeezy Stocklebocks leaped over Droopy Whoopy Bondfluffs, hitting 300-gigglebits to their 150-snorebucks. Meanwhile, in Whimsyland's market, the pancakes reached parity with pogo sticks."
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22.
 
Re: Epic Appeals to Supreme Court
Sep 29, 2023, 13:48
22.
Re: Epic Appeals to Supreme Court Sep 29, 2023, 13:48
Sep 29, 2023, 13:48
 
You can also buy older iPhones direct from Apple, they don't make you buy the latest and greatest. In fact I would argue the real value in the Apple ecosystem is 2 generations back in most cases.
Avatar 51617
21.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 21:11
21.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 21:11
Sep 28, 2023, 21:11
 
Prez wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 20:09:
I've been wrong before, but how come the new iPhone 15's I saw in the Verizon store the other day started at $1100?
Because that was the price for that model. They have 3 different models (15, 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max) each with different cameras, features and multiple storage options.
https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-iphone/iphone-15
https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-iphone/iphone-15-pro
A new base model iPhone 15 w/128GB is $799, a maxed out iPhone 15 Pro w/1TB is $1599
"I expect death to be nothingness and by removing from me all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism." Isaac Asimov
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20.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 20:09
Prez
 
20.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 20:09
Sep 28, 2023, 20:09
 Prez
 
Kxmode wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 18:56:
Prez wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 07:41:
Honest answer - they are a trillion dollar company whose phones still cost over $1000. Am I supposed to be stupid enough to assume razor-thin profit margins there?
I picked up a brand-new iPhone SE for $400. I'm calling nonsense on your "still cost over $1000" statement.

I've been wrong before, but how come the new iPhone 15's I saw in the Verizon store the other day started at $1100?
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
19.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 18:56
Kxmode
 
19.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 18:56
Sep 28, 2023, 18:56
 Kxmode
 
Prez wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 07:41:
Honest answer - they are a trillion dollar company whose phones still cost over $1000. Am I supposed to be stupid enough to assume razor-thin profit margins there?
I picked up a brand-new iPhone SE for $400. I'm calling nonsense on your "still cost over $1000" statement.
"...and in stonks, Fizzy Squeezy Stocklebocks leaped over Droopy Whoopy Bondfluffs, hitting 300-gigglebits to their 150-snorebucks. Meanwhile, in Whimsyland's market, the pancakes reached parity with pogo sticks."
Avatar 18786
18.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 18:53
Kxmode
 
18.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 18:53
Sep 28, 2023, 18:53
 Kxmode
 
Despite Epic's ever-changing "Reasons," not launching a contract-breaching payment system would have been a great first-step to prevent a lawsuit.
"...and in stonks, Fizzy Squeezy Stocklebocks leaped over Droopy Whoopy Bondfluffs, hitting 300-gigglebits to their 150-snorebucks. Meanwhile, in Whimsyland's market, the pancakes reached parity with pogo sticks."
Avatar 18786
17.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 15:23
Prez
 
17.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 15:23
Sep 28, 2023, 15:23
 Prez
 
Yeah that seems a little petty. His opinion is not invalid because of what stock he invests in. When I had a 401k I couldn't be bothered to notice what stocks I even owned.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
16.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 15:07
16.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 15:07
Sep 28, 2023, 15:07
 
Anyone with a serious investment portfolio probably owns Apple stock directly or indirectly, kind of a lame attempt to discredit a poster's opinion without actually addressing it.
Avatar 51617
15.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 14:53
15.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 14:53
Sep 28, 2023, 14:53
 
The Half Elf wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 02:31:
Hope Epic gets sexually assaulted by a giant angry in heat rhino called the Supreme Court.

So here is a HONEST question, and please try to explain this to me. Apple makes a great product, and makes a app store with rules X Y and Z. People complain that it's anti-competitive. How is it anti-competitive to have your own custom created app store, when no one else steps up to make anything else like it except Google, and (gonna assume) Microsoft with their cell phone products?
I believe we have already established that you own Apple stock and thus your take on this is completely biased by your greed. Having you ask this same silly question in every thread just goes to show how much you suffer from the cognitive dissonance that is caused by your bias. The answer has been given to you, but through your lens of greed you do not see it as a valid answer.
14.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 13:23
Prez
 
14.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 13:23
Sep 28, 2023, 13:23
 Prez
 
Verno wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 13:11:
Prez wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 11:19:
but you won't find me defending Valve. We live in a world where if you decided what you owned based on what company isn't a giant greed-driven, soulless, vile mega-corporation you may as well sell everything, shave your head, and go be a missionary in a third world country.

I don't know, Valve has done some pretty cool pro-consumer stuff over the years and provides me a lot of value so I don't mind singing their praises from time to time. I'll harp on any company where appropriate and laud them if they earn it. We can allow our emotions to flex a bit, we don't have to be accountants about every little thing

I agree they are arguably less terrible than a lot of companies, but I can still make a list of the shitty things that they have done without too much effort. I believe in fairness, so if someone makes an obviously hyperbolic or grossly exaggerated claim about them or any other company, I will counter it, but I'm not going to bat for them or anyone else. They can obviously take care of themselves. I reserve my pity for the consumers and the employees taken advantage of and abused, often by these very corporations.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
13.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 13:11
13.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 13:11
Sep 28, 2023, 13:11
 
Prez wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 11:19:
but you won't find me defending Valve. We live in a world where if you decided what you owned based on what company isn't a giant greed-driven, soulless, vile mega-corporation you may as well sell everything, shave your head, and go be a missionary in a third world country.

I don't know, Valve has done some pretty cool pro-consumer stuff over the years and provides me a lot of value so I don't mind singing their praises from time to time. I'll harp on any company where appropriate and laud them if they earn it. We can allow our emotions to flex a bit, we don't have to be accountants about every little thing
Avatar 51617
12.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 11:21
JTW
12.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 11:21
Sep 28, 2023, 11:21
JTW
 
Funny how much the word 'like' pops up. I choose Android because I dislike it less. Apple insists on controlling the customer. Android merely manipulates them.
11.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 11:19
Prez
 
11.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 11:19
Sep 28, 2023, 11:19
 Prez
 
Verno wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 11:10:
Prez wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 10:57:
I didn't want to be cheeky but I could have predicted that this would be your exact response. I don't give a crap if you're on team Apple or not. They certainly don't. Like who you like. Just avoid false comparisons. Or don't; I really don't care. I'm just always amazed with the lengths people go to to defend a greedy corporation who could not give less of a shit about you.

I don't choose my phone like a sports team, it's just the device that suits my needs. I have a better experience on iOS than I did with years of Android use, your mileage may vary.

Half Elf's point was that some people look at the cost relative to what they get out of it. I'm certainly like that with some purchases. A portable super computer with all of the worlds info that also lets me do my banking, chat and so much more. Is that worth $2-3 a day even if I only kept it for 2-3 years? Absolutely it is.

I don't insult people who buy what suits them best. I do the same thing - I liked Android phones better, so I got one. I happen to own a Google phone myself, but I don't make decisions based on what company I like better. I decide solely based on what I prefer. It sounds like you guys do too. But that in no way means that I don't find Google to be a pretty disgusting company. I own many games on Steam - it's my platform of choice - but you won't find me defending Valve. We live in a world where if you decided what you owned based on what company isn't a giant greed-driven, soulless, vile mega-corporation you may as well sell everything, shave your head, and go be a missionary in a third world country.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
10.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 11:10
10.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 11:10
Sep 28, 2023, 11:10
 
Prez wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 10:57:
I didn't want to be cheeky but I could have predicted that this would be your exact response. I don't give a crap if you're on team Apple or not. They certainly don't. Like who you like. Just avoid false comparisons. Or don't; I really don't care. I'm just always amazed with the lengths people go to to defend a greedy corporation who could not give less of a shit about you.

I don't choose my phone like a sports team, it's just the device that suits my needs. I have a better experience on iOS than I did with years of Android use, your mileage may vary. I don't care if Apple lives or dies, I am not "defending" them. Just having a discussion

Half Elf's point was that some people look at the cost relative to what they get out of it. I'm certainly like that with some purchases. A portable super computer with all of the worlds info that also lets me do my banking, chat and so much more. Is that worth $2-3 a day even if I only kept it for 2-3 years? Absolutely it is.
Avatar 51617
9.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 11:09
JTW
9.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 11:09
Sep 28, 2023, 11:09
JTW
 
The Half Elf wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 02:31:
Hope Epic gets sexually assaulted by a giant angry in heat rhino called the Supreme Court.

So here is a HONEST question, and please try to explain this to me. Apple makes a great product, and makes a app store with rules X Y and Z. People complain that it's anti-competitive. How is it anti-competitive to have your own custom created app store, when no one else steps up to make anything else like it except Google, and (gonna assume) Microsoft with their cell phone products?
HONEST answer (although not my personal feelings, which are a little... vague right now.)

It is anti-competitive to create a market in which real competition is impossible, and then use that as leverage to apply unreasonable conditions on customers and business associates. It's the same thing that Amazon is getting slapped down for.

The counter is that Android is its competition.

The counter-counter is probably going to have something to do with claims that Apple, in their 'ecosystem' business model, is a separate (sub?)market. I have no idea if that's valid or not.
8.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 10:57
Prez
 
8.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 10:57
Sep 28, 2023, 10:57
 Prez
 
The Half Elf wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 10:52:
Prez wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 07:41:
Honest answer - they are a trillion dollar company whose phones still cost over $1000. Am I supposed to be stupid enough to assume razor-thin profit margins there?

EDIT: To be clear, that in and of itself is not anti-competitive, but it is indicative of anti-competitive practices by Apple.

1000 dollar mini computer in your pocket that does phone calls, videos, photo's, audio, editing etc. I mean if you want to have the newest shiny from company X you'll find out a way to get it and justify it. Gonna guess you're pc gaming rig/consoles were all free?

I didn't want to be cheeky but I could have predicted that this would be your exact response. I don't give a crap if you're on team Apple or not. They certainly don't. Like who you like. Just avoid false comparisons. Or don't; I really don't care. I'm just always amazed with the lengths people go to to defend a greedy corporation who could not give less of a shit about you.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
7.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 10:52
7.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 10:52
Sep 28, 2023, 10:52
 
Prez wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 07:41:
Honest answer - they are a trillion dollar company whose phones still cost over $1000. Am I supposed to be stupid enough to assume razor-thin profit margins there?

EDIT: To be clear, that in and of itself is not anti-competitive, but it is indicative of anti-competitive practices by Apple.

1000 dollar mini computer in your pocket that does phone calls, videos, photo's, audio, editing etc. I mean if you want to have the newest shiny from company X you'll find out a way to get it and justify it. Gonna guess you're pc gaming rig/consoles were all free?
Avatar 12670
6.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 10:35
6.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 10:35
Sep 28, 2023, 10:35
 
The capital costs associated with entering the phone market are obscene but many companies have tried, some have succeeded in other countries but in North America most have failed. I don't really buy the argument that alternative app stores will make any significant difference to consumer habits but some people think it would. People have also argued for the break up of Apple or Google but so far no one has a made compelling legal case for it. Most of the arguments surrounding this are about developers rather than consumers which is part of the problem, no one has been able to demonstrate any significant harm to consumers. Despite the often pilloried "walled garden" used by Apple and Google, consumers have huge variety of choice of literally millions of apps, free and paid. We have easy access to phones of various sizes and prices, though market forces have shifted toward larger phones in recent years. It's a consumer's market right now and for the foreseeable future. If that changes one day then it will be easier to argue for say forcing Apple to break out the App store into a different business entity or something similar.

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5.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 09:41
5.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 09:41
Sep 28, 2023, 09:41
 
The Half Elf wrote on Sep 28, 2023, 02:31:
Hope Epic gets sexually assaulted by a giant angry in heat rhino called the Supreme Court.

So here is a HONEST question, and please try to explain this to me. Apple makes a great product, and makes a app store with rules X Y and Z. People complain that it's anti-competitive. How is it anti-competitive to have your own custom created app store, when no one else steps up to make anything else like it except Google, and (gonna assume) Microsoft with their cell phone products?
I think the real question is what do you do when a company is so large that it is essentially impossible to compete against. Because two companies competing against each other is better than nothing, but it still ain't great.
4.
 
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court
Sep 28, 2023, 09:34
4.
Re: Epic Appeals Apple Case to Supreme Court Sep 28, 2023, 09:34
Sep 28, 2023, 09:34
 
I mean, there are certainly debatable actions they and others have taken that could be discussed but the cost of their phone does not indicate anything anti-competitive. Most flagship phones are expensive. Apple and other phone companies have more affordable options. I see smartphones everywhere I travel these days, even in impoverished countries.

Consumers have been given the opportunity several times to allow more players into the market and have consistently chosen iOS/Android. People often argue its due to anti-competitive actions but that hasn't been the case in my opinion and according to the courts. Having alternative phone stores hasn't made a difference on Android and likely won't matter on iOS either. Developers want more of the pie but did not take the risks involved to create and maintain the ecosystem. In Epic's case they wanted to pay nothing at all, leveraging the iOS user base while not paying anything back into it. That's how this whole thing kicked off.

A more reasonable middle ground is tiered splits based on revenue which is likely where the market is headed.

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