A California court decided that Apple cannot prevent app developers from referring customers to third-party payment alternatives.
Apple had claimed that all applications should utilize the company’s in-app payment alternatives.
Epic Games had challenged Apple’s up-to-30% cut from purchases in high-profile litigation, claiming that App Store was a monopolist.
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers decided on Friday that “the court cannot eventually find that Apple is a monopolist.”
She did, however, issue a permanent injunction, ruling that Apple can no longer prevent developers from linking to their own buying method.
A movie-streaming service, for example, will now be able to urge users to register via its own website rather than through Apple’s in-app buying mechanism.
Epic has also filed suit against Google over its own Play Store.
Apple’s private payments system is extremely profitable for the computer giant, despite the firm claims it does not know how much it earns.
The decision basically says that Apple cannot prohibit developers from engaging with consumers.
There are frequently cheaper alternatives for consumers outside of the App Store, but Apple does not allow firms to inform them of this.
Epic claimed that this was illogical, and also that developers should indeed be permitted to notify consumers that they could purchase items outside of the App Store.
In a victory for Apple, the court also found that Epic had failed to establish that Apple was running an unlawful monopoly.
“Apple has a significant market share of over 55 percent and extraordinarily large profit margins,” stated Judge Yvonne Gonzales-Rogers.
“However, these considerations alone do not demonstrate antitrust behavior,” he continued. It is not unlawful to be successful.”
“Today the Court has reinforced what we’ve understood all along: the App Store is not in infraction of antitrust law,” an Apple spokeswoman stated.
“Apple confronts stiff competition in every market in which we operate, and we think that customers and developers pick us just because our goods and services are the finest in the world.”
Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, stated that the judgment was “not a win for creators or consumers” and pledged to “fight on.”
No Clear Winner
Apple has declared victory, declaring it a “significant victory.”
True, the judge ruled in favor of Apple on Epic’s primary point, ruling it was not monopolistic.
However, claiming that Apple has “won” here is deceptive.
The lawsuit Epic brought against Apple was hypothetical. Many people thought they had no chance.
The court’s decision to allow in-app purchases to be diverted from the App Store may be a huge setback for Apple’s economic model.
It was found that gaming applications account for 70% of Apple’s App Store sales – an astounding amount.
I say “maybe” since it is unknown how many consumers would opt to buy outside the App Store, or how much this would hurt Apple’s revenues.
During the trial, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that he had no idea how much money the firm made through the App Store.
As a result, determining the impact of this judgment on the firm is challenging.
Epic has expressed dissatisfaction with the verdict, claiming that the court might have granted them more.
However, anti-trust activists applauded the ruling, claiming that Apple abuses its market dominance to intimidate developers.
CNET explained Epic v. Apple trial outcome.