Apple must allow developers to add external payments options in apps, judge rules: Verdict comes after year-long legal battle with Epic Games
- Apple has been court ordered to make it possible for developers to add links and buttons for external payments within apps listed on its App Store
- The verdict follows a year-long battle with Epic Games that started when Epic was taking in-app purchases outside of its Fortnite app
- This cuts Apple out of its commission it takes from all developers
- Apple must now implement changes to meet the verdict by December 9
Apple has been court ordered to make it possible for developers to add links and buttons for external payments within apps in the latest ruling of the tech giant’s legal battle with Epic Games.
California judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers denied the tech giant’s appeal for a stay that would delay the change, saying ‘the motion is fundamentally flawed,’ according to court documents.
The ruling means Apple must implement the changes by December 9.
‘In short, Apple’s motion is based on a selective reading of this Court’s findings and ignores all of the findings which supported the injunction, namely incipient antitrust conduct including supercompetitive commission rates resulting in extraordinarily high operating margins and which have not been correlated to the value of its intellectual property,’ Rogers wrote in the order.
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Apple has been court ordered to make it possible for developers to add links and buttons for external payments within apps in the latest ruling of the tech giant’s legal battle with Epic Games
During the hearing on Tuesday, Apple lawyer Mark Perry argued that implementing these technical changes is ‘going to take months to figure out the engineering, economic, business, and other issues.’
He continued to explain it is much more complicated, as guardrails and guidelines ‘to protect children, to protect developers, to protect consumers, to protect Apple.’
‘And they have to be written into guidelines that can be explained and enforced and applied,’ Perry added.
However, Rodgers responded to Perry saying ‘You haven’t asked for additional time. You’ve asked for an injunction which would effectively take years.
Apple and Epic Game’s feud that began in August 2020 , when the tech giant kicked Fortnite out of its App Store
‘You asked for an across-the-board stay which could take three, four, five years.’
Tuesday’s ruling means Epic games can add its own payment button inside its Fornite app – bypassing the commission Apple takes from in-app purchases.
Apple takes a 15 percent cut from developers with less than $1 million in annual net sales, but those over the threshold have to fork over 30 percent.
However, this also does not mean developers will not have to pay Apple at all, but the tech giant has yet to reveal how payments will be handled moving forward.
Google found itself in a situation in South Korea where it was ordered to offer off-platform payments due to a new government regulation, CNBC reports.
Developers, even if they handle their own billing, must pay Google 11 percent of gross transactions, when the policy goes into effect in 2022.
The ruling means Apple must implement the changes by December 9
Apple and Epic Game’s feud that began in August 2020, when the tech giant kicked Fortnite out of its App Store.
The move, according to Apple, was due to Epic launching its own payment feature for Fortnite where users could purchase tokens directly from them and bypass Apple’s in-app payment system.
Epic filed a lawsuit days after, arguing that app distribution and in-app payments for Apple devices constitute their own distinct market for anti-competition purposes because Apple users rarely leave its ‘sticky’ ecosystem.