Court says Apple can’t stop developers from using alternative payment methods
The platform was ruled as not a monopoly, but its anti-steering rules were deemed illegal.
The Apple vs. Epic lawsuit has been ongoing for months now. Apple initially suspended Epic’s developer account over a year ago, after Epic circumvented the App Store’s in-app purchase method to avoid paying Apple’s 30% cut. Earlier today, a judge made a ruling that will require Apple to allow developers to use alternate payment methods.
According to a report from Protocol, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has come to a conclusion surrounding this case. While the ruling found that the App Store is not monopolistic in nature, it did find the company’s anti-steering provisions to be illegal.
“Apple Inc. and its officers, agents, servants, employees, and any person in active concert or participation with them (“Apple”), are hereby permanently restrained and enjoined from prohibiting developers from (i) 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 (ii) communicating with customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app,” reads the full ruling.
Anti-steering refers to Apple’s rules that prevent developers from using their own payment methods, in favor of Apple’s own process. By doing this, the company ensured that it would receive a cut of all in-app purchases. Judge Rogers has ruled that these rules are illegal and that they must be changed.
So what exactly does this mean? It’s still very early in the decision-making process, and more details about the decision will come soon. But for now, it certainly looks like Apple is going to have to cave in and allow developers to use different payment methods for in-app purchases.
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