A federal judge has issued a permanent ban on Apple from blocking developers from including other forms of payment in their iOS app, in a win over Epic Games.
The order will be effective from December 9, which is 90 days from the order.
In August 2020, Epic Games, the maker of the hugely popular game “Fortnite”, sued Apple for all its in-app purchases and its policy of banning external payment methods. Since launching “Fortnite” from the Apple App Store, the game’s iOS players have dropped 60% in less than a month, Epic claims.
Apple is expected to appeal the ruling. Apple and Epic representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
U.S. District Court Judge Evan Gonzalez Rogers, the judge hearing the case, determined that Apple violated California’s unreasonable competition laws.
In accordance with the order issued on Friday, Apple has permanently restrained and instructed developers to “(i) ban their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to instruct customers in the purchase process, in-app purchases and (ii) ) Communicate with customers through voluntarily received communication from customers by registering an account in the app.
The year-long ruling comes after Apple reached a settlement in a 2019 class-action lawsuit on behalf of app-developers that the technology giant’s App Store policies are competitive and result in additional fees. Under the agreement, Apple agreed not to block app developers’ efforts to communicate with users that they could use third-party payment platforms where Apple does not reduce sales যদিও although Apple is still blocking such messaging within the app. The new ban would allow Apple to allow app developers to include links to non-Apple payment mechanisms directly in the iOS app.
In 2020, global consumers spent 72 72.3 billion on the Apple App Store, an increase of 30% year-over-year, according to estimates by research firm Sensor Tower.
Epic has sued Google over the same issue, as applies to the Google Play Store, a lawsuit that is pending; “Fortnite” is booted from Google Play.