Apple Shares Recover Ground After Epic Ruling Slide

By Reuters
September 13, 2021 Updated: September 13, 2021

Apple Inc’s shares inched higher on Monday after losing about $84 billion in market value in the previous session on the back of a U.S. judge’s mixed decision in the iPhone maker’s fight with “Fortnite” game maker Epic Games.

Shares were up about 1 percent before the opening bell on Monday. They had closed down 3.3 percent on Friday.

The court issued a permanent injunction that would let app developers route players to alternative platforms to make payments, allowing them to avoid Apple’s 30 percent App Store fees.

Analysts said that while the ruling had the potential to eat into Apple’s services revenue, a big driver of growth in recent years, any hit was still unclear, would be spaced out in time and liable to be only a small fraction of overall income.

Apple and Epic Games
3D printed Lady Justice figure is seen in front of displayed Apple and Epic Games logos in this illustration photo taken on Feb. 17, 2021. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)

“In the end, I expect this to have at most a 2 percent headwind to overall revenue and 4 percent to earnings,” said Gene Munster, managing partner at tech-centric VC firm Loup Ventures.

“After the first year of these changes, app store growth rates will return to normal. Bottom line, it’s at most a one year headwind and does not change the big picture of where Apple is going over the next 5 years.”

Wedbush analysts also estimated that in a worst case scenario, Apple would lose roughly 3 percent of total revenues and would be closer to about a 1 percent revenue and profit headwind over the next few years, given a vast majority of consumers will continue to use the App Store for in-app purchases.

On Sunday, Epic said in a legal filing that it plans to appeal a ruling in the antitrust case.