A year-long battle between Epic Games and Apple regarding in-app payments came to a conclusion as the court ordered the tech giant is “permanently restrained” from prohibiting developers from external purchasing mechanisms.
A permanent injunction has been issued against the tech giant Apple which means developers are now allowed to direct their customers to other payment systems.
The order was issued towards the end of last week by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in the Epic v. Apple case, putting new restrictions on Apple’s App Store rules.
Last year in August, the maker of Fortnite 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, finally, it concluded on Friday as The Verge reported that iOS apps must be allowed to direct users to other payment options which go beyond what Apple offers.
Under the new order, 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.”
The injunction is scheduled to take effect on December 9th, that is, in 90 days unless prohibited by a higher court.
However, in a separate judgment, the country also affirmed that Epic Games was in breach of its contract with Apple when it implemented the alternative payment system. As a result, it has to pay 30% of its revenue, which comes to over $3.5 million, generated since this implementation, to Apple.
This is due to the fact that “The relevant market here is digital mobile gaming transactions, not gaming generally and not Apple’s own internal operating systems related to the App Store,” explained Judge Gonzalez Rogers.
As such, while it couldn’t be concluded that Apple is a monopolist, it was indeed found that Apple engaged in anti-competitive conduct.
Epic Games CEO and founder Tim Sweeney, who praised blockchain-based underpinnings for an open Metaverse earlier this year, said on Twitter that this “ruling isn’t a win for developers or for consumers. Epic is fighting for fair competition among in-app payment methods and app stores for a billion consumers.”