Epic v. Apple: Judge rules Apple can't prohibit developers from linking to external purchase...

Daniel Sims

Posts: 168   +9
Staff
What just happened? The judge presiding over the case between Epic Games and Apple just issued a permanent injunction against Apple that will come as a major blow to how it runs the App Store. While the court didn't decide entirely in Epic's favor, it still represents a win for the company, which has already tried to act on a similar decision made recently in South Korea.

The ruling essentially says that Apple can no longer stop developers from pointing customers towards payment methods outside of Apple's own App Store. This comes mere days after Apple decided to let some apps direct customers to subscriptions outside its App Store in response to a Japanese antitrust investigation. Late last month, South Korea became the first country in the world to prohibit app store owners from blocking outside payment systems.

Epic's battle with Apple started last year when Epic started letting Fortnite players on iOS make in-app purchases through Epic's own store, sidestepping Apple's payment system. Apple banned Fortnite from its platform, which led Epic to sue, claiming the way Apple runs the App Store is monopolistic.

While this week's ruling is decidedly in Epic's favor, the judge did not agree with Epic's claim that Apple is a monopolist. Indeed, it didn't agree with either Epic's or Apple's definition of the market affected by the case.

Epic's claim is based on the idea that iOS is a market in itself, in which Apple holds a monopoly. Apple on the other hand asserts that games on iOS compete with all digital games on all platforms, of which Epic and Apple are just two. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers instead took the opinion that the market of concern here encompasses all mobile gaming transactions -- not all video games but also not iOS by itself.

"The mobile gaming market itself is a $100 billion industry. The size of this market explains Epic Games’ motive in bringing this action," the ruling reads. "Having penetrated all other video game markets, the mobile gaming market was Epic Games’ next target and it views Apple as an impediment." Under this definition, Gonzalez-Rogers ruled that Apple's behavior is anti-competitive, but not monopolistic.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney isn't satisfied with the ruling. "Today’s ruling isn't a win for developers or for consumers," he said on Twitter. "Fortnite will return to the iOS App Store when and where Epic can offer in-app payment in fair competition with Apple in-app payment, passing along the savings to consumers."

In the hours following the ruling, Apple's stock price fell by around three percent.

In response to the new South Korean law, Epic asked Apple to restore Fortnite's account on the App Store, announcing plans to relaunch Fortnite for iOS in South Korea with both Epic and Apple as payment options. Apple then told MacRumors that there is no basis for reinstating Fortnite until Epic agrees to "play by the same rules as everyone else."

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Adorerai

Posts: 93   +57
This sounds like a pretty big win for developers and consumers. Linking to an outside payment option can be made very seamless for the customer.

Epic may not be able to have an official store on iOS where they get to decide on content. But they can create a platform for other developers to use as a payment method and collect those fees.

Even though Sweeney say’s otherwise, it sounds like he’s already trying to get Fortnite back into the Korean iOS App store.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,043   +869
This is a win for corporations like Netflix, Disney etc. For the user it makes almost no difference. Except now you might have to take a few more steps to sign up to a service than just doing it in app.

I’m extremely glad the judge hasn’t forced Apple to open its OS. iOS is extremely successful because it’s closed and I personally prefer it this way.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 658   +502
The real battle if fought won't be the USA .
Countries around the world are targeting Google, Facebook and Apple .
The rest of the world has the opinion that Corps must look after consumer rights and not control them too much.
In The USA - is a natural right for the rich & corporations to exploit everyone - You would think is a divine right like Egyptian Pharaohs being Gods .

We both don't understand the others position . All I know is if I have an Iphone and it has some inherent fault - I don't need some special Applecare to get it fixed 4 years later for free . If they make some BS claims in their adverts again - they will get hammered in the small claims court - full refund or replacement.

The weirdest thing in my travels in the States - the people who believe in the American dream the most - are those exploited the most . The smart ones at the top know the dice are heavily stacked - and it's getting worse - You have to be really incompetent to be born into wealth and lose it now . Likewise it is now much much harder to break out of the bottom rung.

That dream is becoming Fatalistic dogma - you are where you deserve to be - why not go the full hog - you were born a cripple because you were bad in a past life .
I'm aspiration myself - but I know I was born in a well off country - so the odds were massively in my favour ( ignoring any benefits of white male -which are rightfully lessening compared to the MAGA days of the 50s, 60s, 70s etc - when all the good people were just like the Cunninghams on Happy Days - and it the 50s every kid could drive nice cars like American Graffiti .
Or maybe it's The Waltons - where folks struggled - but worked hard and were respectful and helpful to their neighbours.

My take is just relax , don't be fearful - your identity is not Apple who does not care about you . These Corps will be controlled more & more - escaping tax will become harder , escaping their pollution costs will become harder . Just grab your favourite drink and watch your favorite sports team - and save your energy for your family - the rights of your kids
 

George Keech

Posts: 73   +79
This is a win for corporations like Netflix, Disney etc. For the user it makes almost no difference. Except now you might have to take a few more steps to sign up to a service than just doing it in app.

I’m extremely glad the judge hasn’t forced Apple to open its OS. iOS is extremely successful because it’s closed and I personally prefer it this way.
100% might make things cheaper if stores decide to offer better prices direct.

I think epic thought they where some cultural advocate and every one of the millions of fortnite player would rise up against Apple. In reality they could not give a ****.
 

Jrfeimst2

Posts: 14   +15
So now let’s make Epic stop signing million dollar exclusive games for their store so it won’t be on Steam!!! I mean if all this comes down to letting the consumer have an option then Epic is preventing that on the PC with multi million dollar game deals! I mean that’s what Epic says about Apple. Screw Epic and for them thinking they are a so called good guy and is all about the gamer. Screw them and their high horse they rode in on.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 656   +417
This is a victory for everyone! Apple needed to be put in their place and they just have been.