As a consequence, Apple must allow app developers to integrate alternative purchase links into their apps. And the “Fortnite” development company that sued Apple has to pay damages.
10.09.2021, 17:5411.09.2021, 14:14
In the Epic Games vs. Apple court case, the verdict is known: The responsible US judge has on Friday issue a permanent injunction against Apple and thus caused a major setback for Apple’s app store model. This is reported by The Verge.
The ruling obliges Apple to allow developers to refer customers to alternative payment methods outside the app store when making in-app purchases. Game providers in particular can try to avoid the high commissions that Apple collects from them.
The judgment of the Californian judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers also shows that Epic Games did not get away with its strategy of branding Apple as a ruthless monopoly. It says:
“Ultimately, the court cannot come to the conclusion that Apple is a monopoly under federal or state antitrust law. Nevertheless, the process has shown that Apple is behaving in an anticompetitive manner under California’s competition laws. “
Epic Games has to pay Apple millions in damages plus interest. The game development company is being asked to pay for breach of contractual clauses.
Judge Rogers ruled that Epic Games must cede 30 percent of its $ 12.1 million revenue to Apple. Money that the game development company earned between August 2020 and October 2020 through direct payments from users in the “Fortnite” app on iOS.
In an initial statement, Apple tried to portray the court ruling as a success:
“Today the court confirmed what we knew all along: the App Store does not violate antitrust law. As the court recognized, success is not illegal. (…) Apple faces tough competition in every segment in which we operate, and we believe that customers and developers choose us because our products and services are the best in the world (…). »
After the verdict, Apple shares went into the red and lost around 2.5 percent within minutes.
Companies have 90 days to appeal.
Fight for billions
According to observers, the ruling marks the temporary end of a high-profile legal dispute that began more than a year ago and has become one of the most explosive and momentous technology antitrust proceedings of recent times.
For years, Apple and Epic Games – the developer of the box office hit “Fortnite” – have been arguing about the fees in the App Store (iOS). Apple spoke of necessary operating costs, Epic of a monopoly tax.
Apple charges a fee of up to 30 percent when someone buys an application or subscribes through the app store.
The battle came to a head in August 2020 when Epic installed an alternative payment system in “Fortnite” in order to bypass the transaction fees of the app store. Apple responded by removing the iconic game from the App Store, sparking an immediate lawsuit from Epic.
Google was also involved in the dispute, which ended with the Android version being thrown out of the search engine giant’s Play Store and henceforth only available indirectly on Android devices.
Google is reportedly even considering buying Epic Games. These measures were also a direct reaction to the publication of “Fortnite” outside the Play Store, it said.