Appealing court rules in favor of Apple, delaying App Store billing changes

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., center, arrives in US district court in Oakland, California, on Friday, May 21, 2021.

Nina Riggio | Bloomberg | beautiful pictures

An appeals court in San Francisco said Wednesday that Apple currently doesn’t have to change its App Store rules to allow developers to embed links to alternative payment methods inside iPhone apps.

The temporary stay protects Apple’s control of its App Store and the fees it generates, which can amount to 30% of digital transactions, until the court issues an authorization, it said.

“At the very least, Apple has demonstrated that its appeal raises serious questions about the merits of the district court’s decision that Epic Games, Inc. did not show that Apple’s conduct violated any antitrust laws. monopoly but found that similar conduct violated California’s Unfair Competition Law,” the court ruled in response to an order reviewed by CNBC.

That means the App Store can continue to ban developers from adding external links to other payment methods while the case is appealed. The change requiring Apple to allow developers to link to other payment methods was requested earlier this year by Yvonne Gonzales Rogers, a federal judge in Oakland, and is expected to go into effect on Wednesday. Five.

“We’re constantly evolving the App Store to help create a better experience for our users and the incredibly talented community of iOS developers,” an Apple spokesperson said. “Our concern is that these changes will create new privacy and security risks and disrupt the user experience that customers love about the App Store. We want to thank you. The court has granted this stay while the appeals process continues.”

An Epic Games spokesperson declined to comment.

Epic Games sued Apple last year, demanding the ability to install its own app store on iPhones.

While Rogers ruled in favor Apple For nine of the 10 counts, she ordered the iPhone maker to relax “anti-direction” policies that restrict companies from telling their customers about unused alternative payment methods. Apple’s iTunes payment. Rogers previously said that if the changes are delayed until the appeals process is complete, it could take up to five years.

Apple and Epic are appealing the decision in a federal appeals court in California.

Apple Store developers think Apple’s fees, up to 30% of purchases, are too high. If app makers were allowed to link to their own websites and take customers’ credit cards directly, they could cut costs, previous developers said.

Apple says its control over the App Store allows it to ensure user privacy and security. Apple has also has changed its software distribution policies many times, including cutting fees to 15% for small developers and select applications, and introducing an appeals process for rejected applications. Apple says that it will take a considerable amount of engineering effort to produce a new system

Most recently, Apple settled a class action lawsuit, and as a result, the developers said it was possible to email their own customers to notify them of alternative payment methods. Wednesday’s stay doesn’t affect part of Rogers’ order, which focuses on developers communicating with their customers.

Earlier this year, Google said its Android app store would let developers handle payments on their own under a new South Korean law, but Google said it would still charge a fee even if it doesn’t. developers handle their own payments. Appealing court rules in favor of Apple, delaying App Store billing changes

Sarah Ridley

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