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Thirty-Four U.S. States, D.C., Microsoft Back Epic Games in Court Documents Amid Feud With Apple

Thirty-four U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Microsoft have thrown their support behind Epic Games in its legal battle with Apple.
Thirty-four U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Microsoft have thrown their support behind Epic Games in its legal battle with Apple. / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Thirty-four U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Microsoft have officially thrown their weight behind Epic Games in their legal battle against Apple, as filed via amicus curiae briefs with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

After Epic initially filed its opening brief to the Ninth Circuit in its fight against Apple's app store fees and regulation of payment tools on Jan. 20, attorneys general for 34 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, as well as Microsoft, weighed in on the matter in support of the Fortnite-maker on Thursday.

"Apple's conduct has harmed and is harming mobile app-developers and millions of citizens," the states said in their brief.

"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."

Led by Utah, the states supporting Epic are Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Washington.

Amid the 10 briefs filed in the case Thursday by the states, professors, activist groups, and more, Microsoft leaned in to argue that ruling in favor of Apple could allow it to leverage its "control of iOS to foreclose competition" in adjacent markets.

"If Apple is allowed to step between any company with online services and users of iPhones," Microsoft wrote, "few areas of the vast mobile economy will be safe from Apple's interference and eventual dominance."

Apple's reply is expected to come in March. On Thursday, the company said it was optimistic that Epic's challenge would fail.

In recent weeks, Fortnite has returned to iOS, Safari, and Android thanks to the closed beta of GeForce NOW, Nvidia's cloud gaming service.