However, Epic Games – the company behind the lawsuit – said the judge’s verdict isn’t a huge win.
A federal judge has ordered Apple to remove many of its App Store rules so developers can send their users to alternative payment portals.
In her ruling, US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the Northern District of California said that Apple violated the laws of the state of California against unfair competition by preventing app developers from offering customers “other ways to pay for their services.” refer.
The Gonzalez Rogers ruling gives Apple 90 days to allow developers to include links to other payment forms in their apps.
When consumers choose such links, developers can receive payments that are not reduced by Apple’s mandatory commission rules.
The verdict isn’t ideal for content creators, however.
According to Reuters, while the ruling allows developers to refer users to non-Apple payment systems, it does not force Apple to allow developers to use their own in-app services. Apple can therefore continue to charge commissions for in-app transactions, which can be up to thirty percent.
Epic Games, the studio behind “Fortnite”, announced that it would appeal the verdict.
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said on Twitter that the verdict was “neither a developer nor a consumer win.”
A hammer. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr / User: Brian Turner. (CCA-BY-2.0).
Gonzalez Rogers also refrained from claiming or implying that Apple had a monopoly on a major digital marketplace – which could potentially confuse antitrust initiatives by the federal government and other critics against the tech company.
“Although the court finds that Apple has a significant market share of over 55 percent and exceptionally high profit margins, these factors alone do not indicate antitrust behavior,” wrote Gonzalez Rogers. “Success is not illegal”
While Apple shares fell several percent after the Gonzalez Rogers ruling was released, Apple has still claimed some kind of victory.
“Today the court confirmed what we knew all along: The App Store does not violate antitrust law,” Apple said in a statement. “As the court recognized, ‘Success is not illegal.’ Apple faces fierce competition in every segment we operate in, and we believe customers and developers choose us because our products and services are the best in the world. “
Nonetheless, the New York Times notes that Apple is still expected to appeal the decision and ask the courts to prevent the order from going into effect.
The Times suggests that either Apple or Epic could also appeal to the U.S. Ninth District Court of Appeals. The 9th Circuit would use a three-person jury to review Gonzalez Rogers’ decision.
While such a review can take a year or more, it can settle the dispute – unless the case escalates further and goes to the US Supreme Court.
Apple must loosen App Store rules, US judge orders
Richter orders Apple to ease restrictions on app developers