Apple doesn’t need to give app developers the ability to add links to external payment options ornot yet, at least.
Apple was granted a deadline today to comply with the changes to the App Store, one day before the first dec. 9 deadline and just a few weeks after Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers denied Apple’s original request to prevent the requirement.
The order allowing developers to use external payment systems stems from a bitter feud between Apple and gaming giant Epic Games. In August 2020, Apple removed Fortnite, one of the most popular games in the world, from the App Store after Epic Games added a direct payment option that bypassed the App Store’s in-app payment system and its 30% commission at Apple.
Gonzalez Rogers ruled against Epic, believing the company was in violation of its developer agreement and concluding that Apple was not creating an unfair monopoly in the app space. Apple did not come out unscathed, however, the company was found to be in violation of California Unfair Ccompetition law. As a result, a a permanent injunction has been issued, forcing the tech giant to remove all barriers preventing developers from using “external buttons or links” to direct users to alternative payment methods outside of the App Store.
With the appeal approved by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Apple could wait to make changes to its payments system until appeals in the case are completed, a process that could take over a year. Meanwhile, Apple will surely do everything possible to completely abandon the order. The stay, it should be noted, does not extend to the second part of the injunction, which requires Apple to allow “communication with customers via contact points voluntarily obtained from customers via account registration in the application.”
“Apple has demonstrated, at a minimum, that its appeal raises serious questions about the merits of the district court’s ruling that Epic Games, Inc. failed to demonstrate that Apple’s behavior violated antitrust laws,” but showed that the same behavior violated California’s unfair competition law, ”the ruling read, according to 9to5Mac.
In a statement to Le New York Times, Apple thanked the appeals court but continued its argument against the injunction.
“Our concern is that these changes would have created new privacy and security risks and disrupted the user experience that customers enjoy in the App Store,” the company said.
We have contacted Epic Games and will update this article if we have any news.