A permanent injunction has been issued against Apple, allowing developers to refer their customers to other payment systems in the near future. The order was issued late last week by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, and puts new restrictions on Apple’s App Store rules. Last year, in August, the Fortnite maker filed a lawsuit against Apple after the company removed the popular video game from their app stores because Epic violated the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments.
Epic Games wanted to use alternative payment processing tools, which included “Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies,” to spur innovation and offer lower prices and better service to their users. After a year-long legal battle, the ruling was issued last Friday that iOS apps must be allowed to direct users to other payment options that go beyond what Apple offers.
Under the new order, Apple is “permanently restrained from prohibiting developers from including buttons, external links, or other calls to action in their apps and metadata that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to in-app purchase. and to communication with customers through contact points obtained voluntarily by customers by registering the account within the app “.
The injunction is expected to take effect on December 9, which is 90 days from now unless the sentence is overturned by a higher court. However, in a separate ruling, it was also established that Epic Games violated its contract with Apple by implementing the alternative payment system. As a result, it will have to pay Apple 30% of its revenue, which is over $ 3.5 million, generated by this implementation.
This is due to the fact that “The relevant market here is digital mobile gaming transactions, not gaming in general and not Apple’s internal operating systems related to the App Store,” as explained by Judge Gonzalez Rogers. Therefore, while it cannot be concluded that Apple is a monopolist, it has indeed been found that Apple has engaged in anti-competitive conduct. Epic Games CEO and founder Tim Sweeney said on Twitter that this “ruling is not a win for developers or consumers. Epic is fighting for fair competition between in-app payment methods and app stores for a billion consumers ”.