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Following the ongoing litigation in the Epic v Apple case, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has sought leave to appear in the Full Federal Court under amicus curiae (friend of the Court).

Previously, the Court granted a stay on the proceedings between Epic and Apple due to the jurisdiction provided for in Apple’s App Store commercial agreement. Under said agreement, all disputes between parties are to be determined in a court in California, USA. As such, Epic would have to call upon Australian competition law in a foreign court. Consequently, Epic has appealed this decision and an expedited hearing has been moved before the Full Federal Court for 9 June 2021.

At this upcoming appeal hearing, the ACCC is seeking to intervene as a non-party, “to make submissions to the Full Court about the public policy in favour of disputes involving Australia’s competition laws being heard and determined by Australian courts.” This would mean that the ACCC may make submissions on limited issues but will not become a party to the proceedings.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims has provided that the ACCC’s involvement, in this case, is due to its responsibility as the national statutory agency for competition and consumer law, as well as the public interest and potential economic outcome of this decision. Although, note that this request is only in respect of the appeal from the orders granted by Perram J, and not the substantive proceedings where Epic accused Apple of breaching the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth).

As the Epic v Apple lawsuit ensues, it is clear that many external parties are being brought into the mix. The outcome of this landmark case may reshape the gaming and technology industry, as well as the manner consumers acquire digital goods and services.

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