Apple has been ordered by a judge to allow developers to add third party payment options to apps published in its App Store – related to the court’s previous decisions in the Epic v. Apple antitrust case.
Apple sought to be granted a motion for an indefinite injunction, but Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers dismissed it after a hearing held on Tuesday, saying that Apple was asking for a stay that could last even up to five years.
The judge in this way effectively sided with Epic’s legal counsel’s claim that the motion was a delay tactic, while the giant had no desire to make any changes – unless “forced to do it.”
Apple is fighting hard to keep developers locked into its own payment system, through which it takes a 30% cut of all app sales and in-app purchases happening on the store. And since there has so far been no option to conduct these transactions via external payment systems, the policy is considered monopolistic.
The Epic v. Apple cases, which is now in the appeals phase, originally ruled that Apple didn’t break antitrust rules when banning Epic’s Fortnite from the store, as well as the game publisher’s developer account. But the ruling also said Apple’s so-called anti-steering rules that prevent developers from contacting users to promote alternative payments were hiding information from users and must be removed.
Apple is now appealing against this part of the judgment and has lodged its motion for an indefinite stay, saying it needs “months” to bring the App Store and its policies to comply with the court’s order. The lawyer for the giant, Mark Perry, even went as far as to suggest that the safety of children and consumers could be compromised if Apple went ahead and tackled what he said were “exceedingly complicated” changes.
According to him, Apple has made two changes ordered by the ruling, through settling a class action suit and allowing developers to send emails to their customers. But the giant is trying to fight against the inclusion of in-app links, portraying this stance as concern for customer security.