August 8, 2022
Apple’s request to delay App Store changes in Fortnite-Epic case denied by US judge

A US judge on Tuesday denied Apple’s efforts to block orders passed after an antitrust case brought by Fortnite maker Epic Games.

The iPhone maker immediately said it would appeal the denial aimed at preventing potentially significant changes to its lucrative App Store before the December 9 deadline to implement the court orders.

Epic earlier this year tested it on Apple’s practice of forcing developers to use its in-app payment system and paying commissions to the iPhone maker. In September, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers issued a ruling that was mostly favorable to Apple.

But she expressed concern that Apple was keeping consumers in the dark about alternative payment methods and ordered Apple to lift restrictions on in-app links, buttons and messages to users about other ways to pay.

Apple has appealed the judge’s decision, asking it to withhold its orders while the appeals process is complete, which could take several years.

In a scathing rebuke to the iPhone maker, Gonzalez Rogers said Apple’s prohibition on disclosing other payment methods to consumers showed early antitrust conduct, including “extracompetitively high operating margins including supercompetitive commission rates” for its App Store.

She wrote that Apple’s own in-app payment methods will still be more convenient than third-party methods and that many consumers may still choose to use it.

“The fact remains: it must be their choice,” wrote Gonzalez Rogers. “Consumer information, transparency and consumer choice are in the public interest.”

Apple said it would appeal Gonzalez Rogers’ refusal to the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which could temporarily block Apple before the December 9 deadline.

Apple said in a statement, “Apple believes that no additional business changes should be required in this case until all appeals are resolved. We ask the Ninth Circuit to remain based on these circumstances.” want.”

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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