Apple prohibited from blocking outside payment in Epic ruling – TechCrunch

A judge handed down the verdict in California’s Epic V this morning. Apple case, siding with Fortnite maker on the subject of third-party payments. Effectively, the judge ruled that Apple could not prohibit developers from adding a link to an alternative payment outside of Apple’s App Store-based monetization.

Mobile giant’s control over fees on iOS has long been an exciting point for Epic and its in-gaming micro-transaction true cash cow.

Judgment note, in part,

Apple Inc. And its officers, agents, servants, employees, and any person in active concerts or partnerships with them (“Apple”), are therefore permanently controlled and to restrict developers from (i) their applications and their metadata buttons, including external links. Ordered. , Or other calls or actions that lead customers to purchase methods, in addition to in-app purchases and (ii) communication with customers through contact issues voluntarily obtained from customers through account registration in the app.

The decision is the result of years of fighting between Apple and the big developers, especially in gaming, whose businesses have an overwhelming majority – 70%, the judge noted the app store’s revenue.

After Apple banned the Epic Games Fortnight app for implementing its new payment mechanism last August to bypass Apple’s in-app purchase framework, the game maker claimed against Apple for abusing its market power by forcing the company to use Apple’s payments. Has been. Systems. Epic Games also sued Google and teamed up with other app developers to create a qualification for App Fairness, a group that was actively lobbying for App Store improvements, including involvement in individual state-level legislation in the U.S.

In recent weeks, Apple has made some minor changes to its App Store rules, as a result of other lawsuits and legal-related concessions, including a compromise with a Japanese regulator that has seen the technology giant change its policies for “reader apps.” Apps that provide access to purchased content – allowing them to point users to their own websites where users can sign up and manage their accounts. Other settlements allow developers to use the customer contact information collected in their application to inform customers about other payment options. And in South Korea, a new law allows Apple and Google to allow developers to use their own third-party payment systems. After that law was passed, Epic Games asked Fortnight to reinstall the app store in that market, but Apple rejected that request.

Apple’s continued refusal to adapt its App Store rules in a changing environment, he argues historically, is about consumer protection. In previous statements, allowing alternative means of purchase in the app could put users at risk of fraud and harm their privacy, the company said.

While today’s ruling will now force Apple to include developers who can choose to include buttons or links to other places where they can pay, it still won in the sense that it was not considered a monopoly. U.S. District Judge Yone Gonzalez Rogers disagreed with how both Apple and Epic Games have shaped the respective market, saying Apple does not have a monopoly on digital mobile gaming transactions.

“While the court found that Apple has a market share of more than 55% and an unusually high profit margin, these factors alone do not reflect distrust,” Rogers wrote. “Success is not illegal.”

An Apple spokeswoman said: “The court today confirmed that everything we know: the App Store does not violate the no-confidence law.” “As the court recognized, ‘success is not illegal.’ Apple faces stiff competition in every segment in which we do business, and we believe that customers and developers choose us because our products and services are the best in the world. We are committed to ensuring that the App Store is secure and reliable. Is a marketplace that supports a rich developer community and more than 2.1 million US jobs and where the rules apply equally to everyone.

Today’s ruling could have long-term implications for the developer community, as Apple will have to adjust its rules to include apps pointing to other payment options. For example, it can select the need for apps to include Apple’s own in-app payment option. It may also decide that in view of this new requirement, it no longer makes sense to qualify “reader applications” as a separate category. But such decisions will come out in the coming days.

The epic games that failed to win are known to Apple as a monopoly, which is a very big deal with the effects that could eventually lead to U.S. government regulations. And Apple won’t have to allow third-party App Stores or sideloading, which could be more disruptive to the long-term prospects of its App Store business as a whole. However, for consumers, this means that the App Store can become more complicated as they are forced to opt out of apps to make a purchase or get a better price. And when customers use outsourced payment systems, they will lose the ability to manage all their subscriptions in one place, potentially making cancellations more difficult.

As a result of the lawsuit, Rogers ruled that Epic Games would have to pay Apple 30% of the $ 12 million it earned when it introduced its alternative payment system at Fortnite, which violated a legal agreement with Apple at the time.

Following the decision, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney Tweeted When and where will Fortnight return to the App Store when it can offer in-app payments in “fair competition with in-app payments in-app” and give the savings to customers.

“Thanks to everyone who put so much time and effort into the fight for fair competition on the digital platform, and especially thanks to the court for arranging a very complex case on a fast timeline.” “We will fight.”

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