Emma C. Smizer


Antitrust and “Big Tech” firms are under renewed scrutiny, in part due to the dispute between Epic Games and Apple. This lawsuit strikes at the heart of the growing phenomenon of “tech-tying,” a form of vertical integration in digital aftermarkets where monopolistic tech firms condition the use of their operating systems on the added use of other complimentary software or services. Judicial attitude toward claims of tying has shifted considerably over recent decades, resulting in lax enforcement against vertical integration arrangements. This Comment argues that Apple’s conduct constitutes “tech-tying” and that competitors should be permitted to enter the aftermarkets of both iOS app distribution and iOS in-app payments processing. Antitrust laws must evolve from its industrial-era origins to account for today’s high-tech industry by expanding to protect competition.