The Department of Justice wants the opportunity to weigh in on the Apple v Epic appeal, with the goal of informing antitrust policy.
Epic Games sued Apple in an attempt to make the case the company was an illegal monopoly as a result of its App Store policies. Apple largely won the case, with Epic only scoring a single point: Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said Apple must allow developers to use their own payment systems if they desire, but she specifically shot down the argument that Apple was a monopoly. Both companies appealed the decision, with Epic wanting a second chance to make its case and Apple wanting to win the one point out of nine that it lost.
The DOJ has asked to be part of oral arguments in the appeal, according to Reuters. The DOJ expressed concerns that Judge Rogers may have misinterpreted the Sherman Act, which serves as the basis for US antitrust law.
“The United States believes that its participation at oral argument would be helpful to the court, especially in explaining how the errors (in antitrust law interpretation) could significantly harm antitrust enforcement beyond the specific context of this case,” the DOJ wrote in the filing.
The DOJ says it does not support either company in their dispute. At the same time, Epic’s loss was also a major setback for the DOJ’s own investigations into Apple. With Judge Rogers ruling the company is not a monopoly, it could limit the scope of any measures the DOJ might be able to take.