Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, District Judge of California, United States, has issued an injunction against Apple stating that the company must allow users to use any payment method for in-app purchases, i.e. within the ‘app.
The decision came during the trial between Apple and Epic Games, the company that produces the popular video game Fortnite, which had accused Apple of abusing its dominant position on the App Store, that is, the online store from which all apps, such as Fortnite. , can be downloaded on iPhone and iPad: the dispute between Apple and Epic began in August 2020, after Epic had introduced an internal payment service different from that of the App Store in the Fortnite app; in response, Apple had deleted the game from the App Store. Epic’s decision was due to the fact that Apple demands a percentage of 30 percent on all transactions made by users through in-app purchases, that is, within the app itself.
Judge Rogers ruled that Apple banning developers from inviting users to use alternative payment methods for in-app purchases is anticompetitive. Rogers’ injunction will take effect in 90 days, December 9, subject to appeals by Apple. At the same time Rogers ruled that Apple did not operate under an illegal monopoly condition and said that Epic, by introducing an alternative payment method in Fortnite, had violated the contract signed with Apple and therefore will have to pay the latter 30%. of the $ 12 million earned by bypassing the App Store payment system.
Due to criticism of Apple developers and antitrust authorities in recent months, which in numerous countries have initiated investigations into potential violations, the company in recent weeks announced two changes to the way it administers its App Store. The first was the removal of the rule that prohibited developers from informing users via email about the possibility of paying for certain services, available in their applications, outside the App Store.
The second, on the other hand, concerned the “reader apps”, ie applications that offer content accessible via digital subscription such as those for reading magazines, newspapers and books, for listening to music like Spotify or for watching TV series and movies like Netflix. From next year, the developers of these applications will be able to insert links and references in their apps to the possibility of creating and managing their own accounts outside the App Store.
– Read also: The antitrust trial against Apple explained