Initially Epic, which is 40% owned by Tencent Holdings (TCEHY) ,appeared to be the winner. Apple sold off on Sept. 10, after the ruling was handed down by Federal District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers.
The thinking was that Apple would lose billions in revenue from its app store if it was forced to allow third party payments that bypass its system.
But Real Money’s Jim Cramer had a different take. “There's only one problem: Epic didn't win. It lost,” Cramer wrote in a recent Real Money column. “In fact it lost big, but because a bunch of analysts made cursory judgments about the judge granting an injunction against Apple using an obscure provision of a California antitrust law, a law that has a very low bar, we heard that it could be the end of the App Store's incredibly profitable gaming revenue.”
Had the cheap seat crowd bothered to read the whole opinion and consult with counsel they would have realized that Apple came out way ahead. “That’s why Epic, not Apple, appealed,” Cramer noted. “Epic was arguing that Apple exerts monopoly power to exact exorbitant fees from developers, fess that discourage innovation that's specially outlawed by the Sherman Antitrust Act.”
The federal judge did rule that Apple demonstrated incipient antitrust behavior on the very narrow notion of steering companies to the App store.
But as Cramer noted, the judge had to admit that Apple's just giving the customer - the actual user of the phone - what's best for them both in terms of convenience and security. “To go one step further, Apple could have won on all counts except it would have disenfranchised the consumer had it prevailed in the element that the judge found in favor of Epic,” he added.
The big takeaway? “We’ll all look back and realize that rather than Apple losing, companies that want to use the App store to sell products will have to comply with Apple's wishes,” Cramer said.