Apple seeks stay on injunction issued in lawsuit against Epic
Following the Epic Games v/s Apple lawsuit ruling, the smartphone manufacturer has been ordered to allow developers to let users access third-party payment systems from within the app to complete in-app purchases (IAPs). Now, Apple has filed a notice of appeal asking for a stay on the aforementioned injunction without which it would have to comply by December 9. Here are more details.
The judge who presided over the Epic v/s Apple antitrust case ruled in Apple's favor for nine out of 10 counts. However, she issued an injunction directing Apple to allow developers to use third-party IAP systems. Apple was given 90 days to modify App Store rules and implement them in accordance with the ruling. The window closes on December 9.
CNBC reported that Apple has now filed a notice of appeal to put off the implementation deadline for the injunction. This could defer developers' ability to offer alternate IAP systems to end-users by at least a year. Apple said it had "already taken concrete, specific steps in the direction indicated by the Court's opinion—including by agreeing to eliminate the prohibition on targeted out-of-app communications."
If Apple allows third-party IAP systems, it would have to forego the 15-30% commission it earns through its proprietary system. To defend this revenue stream, Apple argued that it would be a "poor use of resources" to comply with the injunction because another litigation from Epic regarding its extent of compliance is "near-inevitable". We believe Apple isn't wrong in expecting further litigation from Epic.
Interestingly, Bloomberg noted that the court ruling didn't say that Apple can't charge developers a commission for payments processed using third-party IAPs. It could be challenging to implement, but Apple could consider it as an option if the injunction isn't halted after a November hearing.
Apple has not yet said how it would change the App Store rules to comply (or not). If Apple wins the stay after a judge's deliberation on November 16 (could be moved to November 2), it could defer changes to App Store policies until all appeals in the case have finished. The whole process could take several years.