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US Supreme Court: Apple App Store rules continue to apply

US Supreme Court: Apple App Store rules continue to apply

In a legal battle with Epic Games over potential distortions of competition in the App Store, which has been going on for three years, Apple may initially proceed as before. This has now been decided by the US Supreme Court – at least temporarily. This means that there is still a ban in Apple’s contracts that prohibits Epic Games and other app sellers from offering or promoting alternative payment methods.


In early July, Apple initially seemed to prevail here. At that time, the lower court gave Apple a total of 90 days to appeal to the US Supreme Court. During those three months, Epic was allowed to continue monetizing Apple’s App Store titles through other channels. Now the Supreme Court itself has ruled that Apple does not have to make any changes during the ongoing proceedings. It could take a long time for the US Supreme Court to decide whether to accept the appeal—bad for Epic.

The district court initially acquitted Apple of violating US antitrust laws. However, Apple needs to open up the App Store to the extent that developers can advertise external payment methods directly in their apps. It soon became clear that Apple – and Epic Games – wanted to go to the Supreme Court. The question that arose was whether advertising permission should be enforced directly or not. According to the decision of the top US judges, this is not the case.

As special service Bloomberg Law writes, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan ruled to stay the lower court’s ruling. There was no justification for this. Kagan is responsible for any such decisions made as part of the expedited process.

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The decision is gratifying for Apple, as the company has so far earned billions from app store commissions. For paid apps, in-app purchases and subscriptions (up to $1 million in sales per year), the group charges a minimum of 15 percent, while larger companies like Epic pay 30 percent. The service business has grown significantly again recently. Apple had $21 billion in sales in the quarter.



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