Apple argues that doing so risks harming consumers and the integrity of the App Store platform, according to court documents released over the weekend.
The ruling came at the beginning of September in a process between Apple and Epic Games, the company that produced the popular online game “Fortnite”. Epic has already appealed against it – and now Apple too.
Apple has largely prevailed in the process. But the judge also decided that Apple should no longer prevent developers from advising users on ways to buy items more cheaply outside the App Store. According to the ruling, this change should take effect on December 9, and Apple is requesting that it be suspended for the time being.
Apple primarily allows the purchase of digital goods – such as virtual items in game apps – via its internal payment platform. A fee of 15 or 30 percent is due to the group. Apple argues, among other things, that the process will protect users from fraud attempts and misuse of their data. Some app developers criticize that the number is unjustifiably high.
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers came to the conclusion that Apple is entitled to charge a commission on its App Store. It also rejected Epic’s request to open the platform to other app stores. But it saw a competition violation in the fact that Apple was preventing developers from referring users to cheaper buying opportunities elsewhere. Therefore, Apple should not prevent app creators from placing appropriate links and buttons.
A dispute now looms over how to interpret this decision. Apple warns that some developers, from the group’s point of view, interpreted the judge’s decision too generously and wanted to group all alternative payments behind the links. As the company argues, this could allow malicious developers to misuse user data, while Apple can’t prevent this.
Ahead of the trading session, Nasdaq-listed Apple shares lost 0.49 percent to $142.20.
/ so / DP / stk
San Francisco (AWP International)
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