Apple cannot delay payment changes in the App Store, Richter says in the Epic case


Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., Center, arrives in the U.S. District Court in Oakland, California on Friday, May 21, 2021.

Nina Riggio | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Apple will be forced to allow app developers to link to alternative payment websites, potentially allowing software companies to cut the 15-30% fee Apple charges for digital transactions through its app store.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Oakland, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, rejected Apple’s appeal for a suspension that would delay the court-ordered change, meaning it will go into effect in December.

“In short, Apple’s motion is based on a selective reading of the court’s findings and ignores any findings in support of the injunction, namely incipient antitrust behavior including over-competitive commission rates that result in unusually high operating margins that have not been correlated with the value of its intellectual property Property, “wrote Rogers in this order, Apple’s application described as “fundamentally flawed”.

In September, Rogers ruled nine out of ten cases in Epic Games’ antitrust proceedings in favor of Apple. Epic was looking for the option of installing its own app store on iPhones. Both sides are now appealing the decision.

In a brief hearing on Tuesday, Apple attorney Mark Perry said it was a difficult process to allow links to external payments on the App Store and said Apple needed more time.

“It’s extremely complicated,” said Perry. “There have to be guard rails and guidelines to protect children, to protect developers, to protect consumers, to protect Apple.”

Rogers was skeptical, saying Apple is asking to postpone the changes for up to five years.

“Other than that Apple may have needed time to set guidelines, Apple has not given the court any credible reason to believe that the injunction would wreak the alleged havoc,” Rogers wrote in Tuesday’s order.

The injunction doesn’t necessarily mean that app developers won’t have to pay app store fees even if they offer their own credit card processing.

Apple hasn’t publicly stated how its App Store policies would change as part of the ordering process, but it has signaled that it may find a way to charge for off-platform purchases as well. Apple said in arguments on Tuesday that it would take more time to develop new software and policies to replace its in-app payments.

In South Korea, Google’s Android App Store was forced to offer payments outside the platform due to a new government regulation. Developers pay Google 11% of gross transactions, even if they do their own billing, though the directive comes into force in 2022.

Apple said in a statement that it “believes that no further business changes should be required until all appeals on this case are resolved. We intend to seek a suspension from the Ninth District as a result of these circumstances.”

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.