Epic vs Apple: Judge rules Apple must allow App Store developers to link to third party payment options

It’s been three months since the trial has concluded, and Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers handed over her ruling in the Epic Games vs Apple case. According to the ruling, Apple’s practices are anti-competitive, and the company must allow App Store developers to redirect to third-party payment options. 

The ruling comes after Apple has made several App Store policy changes last week, including the option to allow developers to inform their users about alternative ways of paying for subscriptions

The injunction states the following:

“Apple Inc. and its officers, agents, servants, employees, and any person in active concert or participation with them (“Apple”), are hereby permanently restrained and enjoined from prohibiting developers from (i) including in their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing and (ii) communicating with customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app.”

The injunction is set to go into effect in 90 days, and Apple must allow all applications to redirect users to third-party payment providers, which is a big win to Epic Games.

In other news, Judge Rogers also ruled that Epic Games breached its App Store contract when it updated Fortnite with a third-party payment option. For breaching the contract, Epic will be required to pay Apple $12,167,719 in damages.

“On the counterclaim, in favor of Apple on the counterclaim for breach of contract. Epic Games shall pay (1) damages in an amount equal to (i) 30% of the $12,167,719 in revenue Epic Games collected from users in the Fortnite app on iOS through Epic Direct Payment between August and October 2020, plus (ii) 30% of any such revenue Epic Games collected from November 1, 2020 through the date of judgment, and interest according to law.”

It’s currently unclear whether Fortnite will return to the App Store; however, Judge Rogers stated that Apple had every right to terminate Epic Games’ developer account last year for breaching Apple’s contract policies. As it stands, it is up to Apple to allow Fortnite back on the platform and on Epic Games to follow the new rules. 

“Apple’s termination of the DPLA and the related agreements between Epic Games and Apple was valid, lawful, and enforceable, and (ii) Apple has the contractual right to terminate its DPLA with any or all of Epic Games’ wholly owned subsidiaries, affiliates, and/or other entities under Epic Games’ control at any time and at Apple’s sole discretion.”

Now that the Epic vs Apple fight is over, would you like Fortnite to return to the App Store? If you are a developer, what are your thoughts about the ruling? Let us know in the comments below!

Roland Udvarlaki

Roland is a technology enthusiast and software engineer based in United Kingdom. He is also a content creator and writer, and is best known under the name “Techusiast”.

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