Attorney General Bonta Files Brief in Epic v. Apple

Thursday, March 31, 2022
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Urges Ninth Circuit to recognize broad protections for fair competition under California's Unfair Competition Law 

OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Epic Games v. Apple, arguing in support of the broad protections for fair competition under the state’s Unfair Competition Law. Last year, a district court found that Apple’s anti-steering policy — which prohibits app developers from informing consumers about other, potentially cheaper ways to pay for their apps — violated the Unfair Competition Law. In today's brief, Attorney General Bonta explains the importance of the Unfair Competition Law to antitrust enforcement and fair competition in California. 

“California's Unfair Competition Law has protected countless Californians from unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices," said Attorney General Bonta. “It is essential that the Ninth Circuit, no matter the outcome of this particular dispute, interprets the law correctly. I urge the Ninth Circuit to take a close look at California Supreme Court decisions and the history of the Unfair Competition Law, and not to hamper California's ability to effectively enforce this law on behalf of consumers." 

In today's brief, Attorney General Bonta argues that:

  • The California Legislature enacted the Unfair Competition Law to address a broad range of unfair, unlawful, or fraudulent business behavior;
  • The Unfair Competition Law does not depend on a concurrent antitrust violation. The California Supreme Court has expressly recognized that conduct can be unfair under the Unfair Competition Law without being unlawful under any other law; and
  • California’s Unfair Competition Law does not limit out-of-state commerce to protect its own residents, but prevents companies from taking action in California that causes harm to those outside the state.

A copy of the brief can be found here.

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