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Central to antitrust cases is the appropriate determination of the relevant market.
Plaintiff Epic Games, Inc. sued Apple, Inc. alleging violations of federal and state antitrust laws and California's unfair competition law based upon Apple's operation of its App Store. Broadly speaking, Epic Games claimed that Apple is an antitrust monopolist over (i) Apple's own system of distributing apps on Apple's own devices in the App Store and (ii) Apple's own system of collecting payments and commissions of purchases made on Apple's own devices in the App Store. Said differently, Epic Games alleged an antitrust market of one, that is, Apple's "monopolistic" control over its own systems relative to the App Store. Apple disputed the allegations.
Was gaming the relevant market for antitrust purposes?
The court held that the relevant market was digital mobile gaming transactions, not gaming generally and not Apple’s own internal operating systems related to its software application store. The court held that Epic Games failed to show that Apple was an illegal monopolist under the Sherman Act because, even though it enjoyed considerable market share of over 55% and extraordinarily high profit margins, the record did not include evidence of other critical factors. The court held that Apple was engaged in anticompetitive conduct under California's Unfair Competition Law because its anti-steering provisions hid critical information from consumers and illegally stifle consumer choice.