Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law

Competition: FALL 2022, Vol 32, No. 2

EPIC V. APPLE: AMICUS BRIEF OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA IN SUPPORT OF NEITHER PARTY

Written by Kathleen Foote, Paula Blizzard, Shira Hoffman, Robert B. McNary, and Brian D. Wang

The State of California recently filed an amicus brief regarding California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) in the Epic v. Apple appeal pending before the Ninth Circuit. In that dispute between game developer Epic and app store owner Apple, the trial court found that Apple’s app-related policies did not violate federal or state antitrust laws, but one of those policies-Apple’s anti-steering policy—did violate the UCL. The Attorney General of California enforces the UCL and regularly brings actions in the name of the People under the statute to protect consumers and competition, and California has a strong interest in the UCL’s proper interpretation and development. Accordingly, to assist the Ninth Circuit, the State submitted the following amicus brief focused on the "unfair" prong of the UCL.

The amicus brief discusses the history and development of the UCL, the current UCL tests recognized by the California Supreme Court, the relation of the UCL to federal and state antitrust laws, and the appropriate scope of injunctive relief when a plaintiff establishes a violation of the "unfair" prong. The amicus brief does not support either party in the Epic v. Apple case, nor does it take a position on whether the judgment below should be affirmed or reversed.

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