Recently, a federal judge ordered Apple to “dismantle part of the competitive barricade” protecting it’s popular app store (Roanoke Times). This is a huge development for the app store and for app developers.

 

“The legal battle targeted commissions of up to 30% that Apple has been charging on digital transactions within apps. Such transactions can include everything from Netflix or Spotify subscriptions to the sale of digital item such as songs, movies or virtual tchotchkes for video games.” (Roanoke Times).  

 

Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite, intially sued the tech giant in August 2020 after Fortnite was removed from the app store because of Epic Games working around the 30% fee.

 

“Epic wasn’t seeking monetary damages, but sought a court order to stop what it called Apple’s “illegal restraints” on competition.” (Yahoo Finance).  

 

Although the initial goal of the lawsuit was a bit more substantial, Apple will still have to revise its in app purchase policies to avoid massive commissions. This is a first for app developers.

 

“The judge, however, said that Apple has engaged in some anticompetitive conduct and she ordered the Cupertino, California-based technology giant to allow all app and game developers to steer consumers to outside payment methods on the web. All developers for the first time could be able to include a button in their apps to let users pay for transactions online, circumventing Apple’s fees.” (Yahoo Finance). 

 

Apple has since taken steps to reduce restrictions on the App Store.

 

“Since that trial ended, Apple has taken two steps to loosen some of its app store rules — one to settle a lawsuit and another to appease Japanese regulators without altering its commissions. Those concessions make it easier for many apps to prod their users to pay for digital transactions in ways that avoid triggering Apple's fees.” (Roanoke Times) 

 

Epic has filed an appeal after being struck down by the courts, and is determined in taking down the tech “monopolies”.

 

“This case is part of Epic’s global campaign against the world’s most valuable company. Epic, which took in more than $5 billion from Fortnite last year, also has filed complaints against Apple in the European Union, U.K. and Australia, and the game maker is suing Google over its Google Play store.” (Yahoo Finance).  

 

 

 

 

Sources: 

Liedtke, Michael. “Judge Loosens Apple’s Grip on App Store in Epic Decision” The Roanoke Times. Sept. 10, 2021 https://roanoke.com/news/national/judge-loosens-apples-grip-on-app-store-in-epic-decision/article_398ca1fe-1d1b-5076-a435-5a49c7efdabe.html 

Gurman, Mark. “Epic Files Appeal After Loss to Apple in App Store Case”. Yahoo Finance. Sept. 12, 2021 https://finance.yahoo.com/news/epic-files-appeal-loss-apple-192623022.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAHAU28SmGaewHzKiGdKxypw5rcabp4RCsWjb4x-Dn8e2JGRkKMXS-DCek02peNiFGg2fv_fOpnllsGpwMZ_6E-cDKUpy-WVWcTxQyBhTrQk5Q22IsQKqsHpx1LuL0WHXG9RpSdLwTH0d-ZjbmVp4I6OGp4X3wabIICECC6rS0Ykx