App Store Can Not Ban Alternative Payments, Judge Rules in Epic vs Apple

Apple can’t stop developers from offering third-party payments to avoid the fees they charge for in-app purchases, according to a judge in Epic vs. out after months of deliberation. Apple cannot prevent developers from including external links that direct customers to a purchase mechanism in addition to in-app purchases, and developers can also communicate with customers through contact points voluntarily obtained from customers through account registration.

Last year, Epic updated the Fortnite add-on with its own in-app billing system, surpassing Apple’s, and it was later removed from the App Store for violating its policies. This led to an antitrust lawsuit from Epic. A similar case will happen with Google.

According to the order posted by The Verge, the court did not hold Apple to be a monopoly and, as noted in Protocol, Apple came out of the ruling largely harmless, but with one of its central policies. App Store is prohibited. It doesn’t seem to ask Apple directly to authorize other forms of payment, but developers can link to sites with cheaper or similar offers without paying Apple.

The ruling comes shortly after Epic Games asked Apple to reinstate the Fortnite developer account and re-release the game on iOS in South Korea, offering both Epic and Apple payments, something Apple has been quick about. refuse.

The ruling is the result of a years-long struggle between Apple and Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, and the fees Apple charges for in-app purchases. Epic has described this as an unfair, monopolistic tax.

During the trial that began in May, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers questioned Apple CEO Tim Cook and said the profits Apple makes from game developers “seems disproportionate.” .” Cook replied that Apple’s online marketplace would become a toxic mess if left unchecked.


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