The Epic v. Apple lawsuit has concluded in the United States, pending a judgment that could still be several weeks or even a few months away. But like that U2 album that Apple gave away for free, the suit will never actually go away and tends to pop up when you least expect it. The case is now set to be heard separately in Australia.
The Gamer reports that after Epic began the legal challenge in Australia, Apple argued that the case should be limited to the United States and can be settled entirely there. But Epic won out, which means that the lawyers will present their cases in the Australian court system as well.
Australian law reportedly differs slightly than US law on this front, as the question will be whether Apple is violating Australia's Competition and Consumer Act. The court will determine whether Apple's business practices "substantially lessen competition in the market." Historically, Apple has argued that it does not violate antitrust law because it only controls the iOS market, not the also-sizable Android market.
"The ACCC welcomes the Full Court's decision on this appeal, which means that Epic Games' case against Apple alleging contraventions of Australia competition law will now be heard in Australia, not in the US," The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said in a statement. "We will continue to take a strong interest in this case, which raises important issues for competition in the digital marketplace.
Similarly, in 2018 the ACCC ruled that Valve would be subject to a fine in the country, stating, "This important precedent confirms the ACCC's view that overseas-based companies selling to Australian consumers must abide by our laws."
An Apple spokesperson suggested the company may appeal the decision, saying that Australia's Federal Court already ruled in April that Epic will resolve its disputes in California. "We respectfully disagree with the ruling made today."
If that appeal fails and lawyers on both sides are forced to re-litigate their cases in front of an Australian court, it's possible we may see some witnesses called to testify once again. Though Apple's Tim Cook and Epic's Tim Sweeney were the highest-profile witnesses to take the stand during the court case this spring, several other witnesses gave insightful testimony that shed more light on Apple and Epic's business practices. And both companies were frustrated by leaked documents that revealed plans and information they didn't intend to become public.
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