Apple Inc is stifling competition through its mobile app store, attorneys general for 34 US states and the District of Columbia said on Thursday, as they appealed against a ruling that let the iPhone maker continue some restrictive practices.
While dozens of state attorneys general have filed recent antitrust lawsuits against other big tech companies, including Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, none had so far taken aim at Apple.
Thursday’s remarks, led by the state of Utah and joined by Colorado, Indiana, Texas, and others, came in a lawsuit in an appeals court against app store fees and payment tools between “Fortnite” video game maker Epic Games and Apple.
“Apple’s conduct has harmed and is harming mobile app developers and millions of citizens,” the states said.
“Meanwhile, Apple continues to monopolize app distribution and in-app payment solutions for iPhones, stifle competition, and amass supracompetitive profits within the almost trillion-dollar-a-year smartphone industry.”
The action comes after a US district judge in Oakland, California, mostly ruled against Epic last year.
That decision found that commissions of 15% to 30% which Apple charges some app makers for use of an in-app payment system the company forced on them did not violate antitrust law.