In the aftermath of Apple v. Epic, Apple was ordered to make it possible for developers to add links to external payment options for apps on the App Store after Apple was ruled to be in violation of California’s Unfair competition Law. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has now denied Apple’s request to forestall the requirement and the policy change will have to be implemented by December 9.
Judge Rogers denied Apple’s motion to stay, saying that Apple “did not request additional time to comply.” The judge took issue with the tech giant’s presumptuous attempt to obtain an “open-ended stay with no requirement that it make any effort to comply.”
During the hearing, Apple lawyer Mark Perry argued that “It’s going to take months to figure out the engineering, economic, business, and other issues. It is exceedingly complicated. There have to be guardrails and guidelines to protect children, to protect developers, to protect consumers, to protect Apple. And they have to be written into guidelines that can be explained and enforced and applied.”
However, Judge Rodgers responded to Perry saying “You haven’t asked for additional time. You’ve asked for an injunction which would effectively take years. You asked for an across-the-board stay which could take three, four, five years.”
Notably, Judge Rodger’s recent denial means Apple will still have to add external payment links to the App Store while a date for its appeal trial is being determined.
For developers including Epic, this is a big win as developers will now have the ability to bypass Apple’s in-app payment systems, allowing customers to pay developers directly while avoiding Apple’s traditional 30% cut for transactions made in the App Store.
Theoretically, this should increase competition for payments on the App Store, as developers could even offer discounts to customers who choose to pay a developer directly instead of using Apple’s in-app payment system. And similar to what we’ve seen due to competition between PC games marketplaces like Epic and Steam, this could ultimately cause Apple to lower its traditional 30% cut.
However, with Apple’s appeal still in the works, the final decision regarding external payments for apps on the App Store is still yet to come.