A federal judge announced last month that Apple was not a monopoly when issuing a court ruling on the Epic Games v. Apple case of California. But one area where Apple lost ground is what kind of rules it can create for its App Store. At this point, the judge sided with Epic Games, saying that Apple could no longer prevent developers from pointing to other means of payment beyond Apple’s own payment systems. Now, Apple is appealing that decision and seeking a stay on the injunction imposed by the judge. This move may delay any changes to the App Store rules until a final decision is made after the appeal case is decided.
Apple was ordered to update its App Store policies to prevent developers from including external links and other calls to action inside their apps that direct customers to purchase mechanisms other than in-app purchases. can do. The injunction states that Apple cannot prevent developers from communicating with customers through points of contact voluntarily obtained from customers through the registration of their apps.
This is in line with other settlements Apple has made recently, both inside and outside the US, including with a Japanese regulator that changed its policy for “reader apps” to allow them to run on their website inside their apps. Allows you to add a link. South Korea also passed a bill that would prevent Apple and Google from forcing developers to use their in-app billing systems. And in a recent class-action settlement with developers in the US, Apple clarified that developers can use communications such as email to share information about alternative payment methods with their iOS customers.
Epic Games’ ruling, however, required Apple to implement the new rules within 90 days of the court’s ruling on September 10, 2021. Some in the market were already moving to capitalize on that potential turnaround. For example, Paddle, a solutions provider for subscription businesses, announced a while back that it would introduce a new in-app purchase system aimed at iOS developers that would replace Apple’s own drop-in replacements once the injunction took effect. will allow.
If Apple wins the stay, the early December deadline to comply with the injunction will be deferred as the appeals case is debated in court. This means that there may be no change for App Store developers for several months to come.
Apple won almost every point in the Epic Games battle with the exception of this one minor point related to its “anti-steering” rules. But because of Epic’s appeal, Apple was forced to return to court anyway.
Despite winning the ability to add links to alternative payment methods, Epic Games was dissatisfied with the original decision of the court, which declared that Apple’s success was “not illegal.” It filed an appeal to its bench in mid-September, with the hope of convincing the appeals court that Apple was acting as a monopoly.
The battle between the two tech giants continues outside the courtroom as well. Last week, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney explained via a post on Twitter how Apple was using its platform to market its own apps to customers within the iPhone’s Settings screen — effectively From an ad slot that third party contestants did not have access to, she said. However, the company declined to say whether it would bring up this point in subsequent testing.