Apple vs. Epic: iPhone Maker opposes third-party payment links on the App Store

Apple on Friday voiced its objections to allowing app developers to connect to third-party payment options ahead of a hearing next month that could determine whether a series of antitrust court orders are stayed.

After a lengthy lawsuit filed earlier this year by “Fortnite” creator Epic Games, U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers issued a ruling largely in favor of the iPhone maker and upheld its practice of forcing developers to use its integrated payment system. for which he charges commissions.

But Gonzalez Rogers expressed concern that consumers did not have access to information about other ways to pay for the apps. She ordered Apple to end its ban on “buttons, external links or other calls to action that direct customers to purchase mechanisms” beyond Apple’s own payment systems.

Apple has until Dec. 9 to implement the order, but the company has appealed the decision and asked that the order be stayed while the appeal plays out, which could take a year or more. A hearing on the application is set for November 9.

Apple first signaled on Friday that its strongest objections relate to permission requirements for buttons and links that provide a “mechanism” for outside payments. The filing provided the first suggestion that Apple is less strongly opposed to allowing developers to provide information about alternative payment methods.

The company said the links and buttons interfered with its ability to compel developers to use its in-app payments (IAP), which the court upheld.

“The linking restrictions are inextricably linked to Apple’s requirement that developers use IAP for digital content purchases – a requirement that this Court has considered in detail and upheld against Epic’s challenge,” said Apple.

Apple had fewer objections to in-app messages about other forms of payment, but said it may want to “limit their location, format or content” and that judge orders such as they are currently drafted would not allow him to do so without facing further legal action. challenges.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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