Justice Department officials want to take part in Epic v. Apple appeal

The agency has asked for 10 minutes to talk about US antitrust law.

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The Department of Justice has asked a US federal judge to participate in the upcoming appeals case between Epic and Apple, according to court documents seen by Reuters. The companies will return to court next month to argue over the outcome of their 2020 antitrust case.

The Justice Department filed a brief to enter the case at the start of the year. The agency said it was concerned that Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers had improperly interpreted US antitrust law. In 2019, reports surfaced that the DOJ was preparing to launch a probe of Apple’s business practices. A decision to uphold the company's win over Epic could limit the DOJ’s ability to sue it for antitrust violations.

"The United States believes that its participation at oral argument would be helpful to the court, especially in explaining how the errors (in antitrust law interpretation) could significantly harm antitrust enforcement beyond the specific context of this case," the Justice Department wrote on Friday.

The agency has asked for 10 minutes of the court’s time. Neither side is against the Justice Department’s involvement, though Apple has requested that the DOJ’s argument time count against Epic’s total time allotment or that the court extends the proceedings.