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Apple on Friday appealed the verdict of U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in a recent lawsuit against Epic Games and is seeking to uphold a court injunction that would change the App Store’s provisions on “preventing governance”.
Filed in U.S. District Court for Northern California District, Apple’s appeal and request for an adjournment could delay years of execution of court-ordered changes to the App Store as the case goes through the legal system.
In an attempt to circumvent the App Store’s commissions, Epic covertly integrated and activated a direct payment alternative in its popular game “Fortnite” last year. After Apple withdrew the game due to non-compliance with the App Store guidelines, the gaming company sued, citing concerns regarding the protection of competition.
While Apple outperformed nine of the 10 points, Judge Rogers challenged App Store rules that prohibit developers from including options within the app, such as buttons and links to direct customers to third-party payment methods. The order that accompanies the decision calls on Apple to remove those restrictions and allow app makers to “[communicate] with customers through contact points that they have voluntarily acquired from users by registering an account in the application. “
The ban, which is due to take effect on December 9, is forcing a rule change that would allow developers to circumvent Apple’s 30 percent revenue cut in the App Store. Companies are already preparing APIs to take advantage of the upcoming shift.
For its part, Apple continues to argue that directing users to alternative payment mechanisms is an inherently dangerous proposition. Consumers could be led to malicious websites designed to collect personal and payment information, the company says. The use of external payment systems also hampers Apple’s efforts to identify and combat fraud, and enforcing the ban would require significant engineering efforts that include new security protocols, fee collection structures, App Store guidelines, and more.
Apple has made partial concessions as critics review its practice in the App Store. In August, the company agreed to resolve a class action lawsuit by creating a $ 100 million fund for small developers and changing the App Store policy to allow app makers to contact customers about alternative payment methods. Recently, Apple said it plans to allow “reader” apps to connect to the web to manage accounts, a compromise made to close the Japanese Fair Trade Commission’s investigation into the App Store policy.
“Apple is working diligently to address many complex issues around the world, seeking to improve the flow of information while protecting the efficient operation of the App Store and the security and privacy of Apple users,” Apple said in a statement. “Achieving the right balance can address the Court’s concerns by making a court injunction (and perhaps even Apple’s appeal itself) unnecessary.”
Judge Rogers will hear Apple’s appeal Nov. 16.
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