- US appeals court upheld order for Apple to change payment practices in its App Store.
- Apple may appeal the decision and has 14 days to file an appeal.
- Epic Games conceded loss on antitrust claims but trial court order frees developers to use third-party payment options.
A US appeals court has upheld a federal court order that could force Apple to change its payment practices in the App Store, following an antitrust case brought by Epic Games. The ruling means that Apple could be required to allow developers to provide links and buttons for third-party in-app payment options, avoiding the need to pay sales commissions to the tech giant. Although the appeals court agreed with the trial court that Apple's App Store rules did not violate antitrust laws, it also found that Apple had violated California's unfair competition laws by preventing developers from telling users about other ways to pay.
Apple Considering Appeal of Decision
Apple has said it may appeal the decision. In a statement, the company said, “We respectfully disagree with the court's ruling on the one remaining claim under state law and are considering further review.” The ruling means that Apple could be forced to make changes to its App Store payment practices, although the trial court's orders will remain paused while any appeals unfold.
Epic Games Concedes Loss but Says Order Frees Developers
Although Epic Games lost most of its allegations that Apple violated antitrust laws, the trial judge did find that Apple violated California's unfair competition laws. Epic conceded that it had lost on its antitrust claims, but said the trial court order “frees iOS developers to send consumers to the web to do business with them directly there. We're working on next steps.”
Apple May Be Forced to Open Payment Systems
Apple has been forced to open up its in-app payment systems by competition authorities in several countries, including South Korea, the Netherlands and Japan. The appeals court's decision means that Apple could be required to allow third-party payment options in the US, potentially avoiding the need to pay sales commissions to the company. However, the trial court judge gave no instructions on the manner in which Apple must allow those links or buttons, leaving open the possibility of future legal battles over how the changes must be made.
The district court did not clearly err in finding that Epic suffered an injury for which monetary damages would be inadequate,the 9th Circuit wrote on Monday