The judge who presided over the Apple vs. Epic has largely sided with the technology giant, except in one area: It has decided that Apple must allow developers to direct users to other payment systems within its applications. Any changes that the company must make to the App Store’s rules to adjust it must take effect by December 9, or so the judge originally ruled. But now Apple has filed a complaint (PDF via CNBC) requesting the retention of the injunction, which could deny the developer the opportunity to offer alternative payment methods for another year.
In its appeal, Apple wrote that it “has already taken concrete, concrete steps in the direction indicated by the Court’s opinion — including consent to lift the ban on targeted communication outside the application.” The technology giant argued that “it would be a poor use of resources” to require it to adhere to the ban due to “almost inevitable litigation” with Epic regarding the extent of compliance. “There is no reason to waste resources,” the text reads, adding that “detention would maintain the status quo as the appeal process progresses to the end.”
Trystan Kosmynka, Apple’s senior director of App Review, also said:
“At a high level, I believe that, without deliberate restrictions to protect consumers, developers and the iOS platform, this change will harm users, developers and the iOS platform in general.”
Allowing developers to add in-app links to external payment options would be a big step forward for the company. He initially withdrew Fortnite from the App Store when Epic offered customers discounts and free products if they buy directly from the developer. Shortly afterwards, the technology giant removed Epic’s development tools. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney shared communication between the two sides back in September, with the technology giant saying it would not allow it Fortnite back in the App Store until all court appeals have been exhausted. The process could take five years.
According to a previous analysis of the company CNBC, The App Store had gross sales of about $ 64 billion by 2020. Apple typically takes a 30 percent reduction from app purchases, although it recently reduced that to 15 percent for all apps that earn less than $ 1 million a year. Giving developers the means to accept alternative payment methods could cost a company billions. As Bloomberg notes, however, that the judge who issued the ban did not specifically mention that the company cannot charge developers a commission for payments made outside the App Store. Whether Apple will continue to ask for a reduction from the developer remains to be seen, although it would be a complex undertaking if it decides to do so.
A hearing has been scheduled for Apple’s request to lift the ban on Nov. 16, but efforts are being made to move the proceedings to Nov. 2.
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