Epic Games has announced that it plans to appeal the judge’s decision from today’s Epic v. Apple case. Although today’s ruling says that Apple must relax rules around In-App Purchase and allow apps to link out to third-party payment systems, the judge ruled in Apple’s favor on all other counts.
For instance, Apple was not shown to have a monopoly nor must be compelled to allow third-party app stores or alternative third-party payment systems inside the app itself, as Epic had hoped. In a statement, Apple described the decision as a “huge win for Apple”.
Apple SVP and General Counsel Katherine Adams today said “We are very pleased with the court’s ruling and we consider this a huge win for Apple.”. Unlike Epic, it has not said whether it plans to appeal.
At a high level, the consequences of the judgement mirror the settlement Apple agreed with the Japanese commission earlier this month, except all apps will be allowed to link out to alternative payment methods, not just ‘reader’ apps. However, the specifics of the implementation required by the ruling remain unclear, and Apple is yet to share exact details on forthcoming changes to the App Store guidelines.
As it stands right now, Apple is also not forced to restore Epic Game’s developer account or bring back Fortnite to the App Store. However, Apple has not said whether it will do or this not yet. In a tweet, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said Fortnite will only return to iOS when Apple’s platform offers fair competition among in-app payment methods.
The ruling also requires that Epic compensate Apple for the money collected during the time when the direct payments system was made available, in defiance of Apple’s App Store terms of service.
Nevertheless, Apple stock fell significantly today as its highly-profitable commission from in-app purchases is now at risk. If enough customers opt to follow the web links to alternative payment systems, Apple will book significantly less revenue in its Services business segment.
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