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Apple asks court to suspend decision asking it to allow links to external payment systems by December

In a word: Epic’s antitrust lawsuit against Apple ended last month, with both companies claiming a victory lap after the ruling. Apple successfully defended itself against most of the complaints, and Epic was granted the right to use external payment methods built into the app. However, both companies have filed appeals.

Apple filed an appeal on Friday challenging Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’ ruling that it violated anti-management laws by not allowing developers to connect to external payment platforms. Rogers said Apple needs to change its guidelines and let software makers connect to external payment platforms. Apple has 90 days to comply with this part of the judgment, making the deadline in early December.

However, Apple has requested a stay of the decision while it appeals to a higher court. Apple argues that the anti-direction rule is unnecessary because it has already changed its App Store guidelines to allow developers to notify customers of external payment systems. While allowing developers to tell users an alternative is not the same as allowing them to log in to it in the app, as required by the ruling. It should be noted that Apple has started to allow a classification of software that it calls “reading apps” to link to their subscription and payment platforms, but that excludes gaming apps.

Apple insists that implementing a direct link with external payment platforms is risky for its customers. At the very least, it takes time to assess the risks and test the system.

“Links and buttons to other payment mechanisms are very risky,” read the appeal brief. “Users who click on an in-app payment link, especially the one distributed through the organized App Store, will expect to be directed to a web page where they can securely provide their payment information, address e-mail or other personal information. “

Apple lawyers claim that simply allowing developers to connect to their own payment platforms will open up users to fraud. Even with a staff dedicated to verifying the validity of thousands of disparate external stores, nothing would stop a shady developer from making malicious changes to their platform.

“While Apple may review links in the version of the app submitted for review, nothing prevents a developer from changing the destination point of that link or changing the content of the landing web page,” he says. legal team. “In addition, Apple currently has no ability to determine whether a user who clicks an external link has actually received the products or features they paid for.”

If Apple’s stay and appeal are granted, it could block the court order for years while the legal process unfolds.

While Epic was happy with the small win, losing the rest of his complaints was not something he was willing to accept and filed an appeal as well. Part of the judgment says that Epic must pay Apple more than $ 3 million for blatantly bypassing the App Store by offering an external payment alternative. Diverting Apple’s share of off-platform sales is a small price to pay for getting legal approval to have outside stores that don’t respond to Cupertino.

Perhaps a more important factor in Epic’s choice to appeal was that Judge Rogers ruled that he had failed to prove that Apple wielded monopoly power. Rogers noted that if Apple wasn’t currently monopolistic, it could become so in the not-so-distant future. In fact, the judge hinted that his ruling on monopoly power might have been different if Epic had focused more on it.

“The evidence suggests that Apple is close to the precipice of substantial market power, or monopoly power, with its sizable market share,” Judge Rogers wrote. “Apple is only saved by the fact that its share is not higher, that competitors in related sub-markets are making inroads into the mobile games sub-market and, perhaps, because the plaintiff does not did not focus on this topic. “

In the meantime, Apple has vowed that it will not allow Fortnite to return to the App Store until the ongoing lawsuit and all appeals are settled and closed.

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