Epic v. Apple ruling says Apple must allow alternate in-app purchase options

Epic v. Apple ended with Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruling that Apple must allow developers to include their own in-app purchase options.

A permanent injunction was issued today, September 10, in the Epic v. Apple case. The result placed restrictions on Apple’s App Store rules change how developers can use the platform to monetise their content.

Originally reported by The Verge, the court ruling states that Apple is “permanently restrained and enjoined from prohibiting developers from including in their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing and communicating with customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app.”

This will be enforced in 90 days, starting on December 9.

A separate judgement had ruled on whether Epic was in breach of contract when it added the alternate payment system to Fortnite. The ruling on this specific issue went in favour of Apple and has ordered Epic to pay 30 per cent of all revenue earned through the system since it was added. The total amount before the suit was £8.8million, but this does not include the amount earned while the suit was in progress. Epic will also need to pay interest on the amount owed.

In the full ruling, Judge Gonzalez Rogers said that “the court cannot ultimately conclude that Apple is a monopolist under either federal or state antitrust laws. Nonetheless, the trial did show that Apple is engaging in anticompetitive conduct under California’s competition laws.”

An Apple representative told The Verge, “Today the Court has affirmed what we’ve known all along: the App Store is not in violation of antitrust law. Apple faces rigorous competition in every segment in which we do business, and we believe customers and developers choose us because our products and services are the best in the world. We remain committed to ensuring the App Store is a safe and trusted marketplace.”

Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeny said on Twitter, “Today’s ruling isn’t a win for developers or for consumers,” Sweeney said. “Epic is fighting for fair competition among in-app payment methods and app stores for a billion consumers.”

Elsewhere, Twitch has started legal proceedings against two users who allegedly took part in targeted hate raids on the platform.

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