Friday, September 24

US Justice prohibits Apple from exclusivity in App Store payments

The US court in charge of examining the case of Epic Games against Apple has forced the company that created the iPhone to accept alternative payment methods in its application store, thus estimating the lawsuit that the developers of the popular game ‘Fortnite’ had filed.

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In the sentence released by the US press, Judge Yvonne Gonz├ílez Rogers, in charge of the case, has urged Apple to accept that application developers in its store can include in their ‘apps’ and metadata “buttons, external links and other calls actions that direct consumers to purchasing mechanisms in addition to internal purchasing “. Before, developers could only use Apple’s payment gateway, through which the tech giant took a 30% commission from each transaction.

The ruling, however, maintains the controversial 30% commission and supports the company’s right to offer only the App Store as an app store on its products.

The conflict between Epic Games and Apple began almost a year ago, when the creator of Fortnite enabled a different payment platform than Apple itself in the iOS version of the game, allowing it to skip the 30% commission. Given this, which was not allowed by Apple’s application store policies, the Cupertino company blocked Fortnite updates and ended up expelled the game from the store.

Despite this decision, given that the clause that prohibited other payment mechanisms was legal when Epic decided to skip Apple’s payment mechanism, the judge has ordered the company to pay the 30% that it should have paid for the 12.2 million dollars (10.3 million euros) that entered while the alternative option was operational.

The court has not fully upheld Epic Games’ claims. The video game studio raised the case as a monopoly issue, but the court does not consider Apple to be a monopolistic company in mobile game transactions.

However, the ruling does recognize that Apple’s conduct in imposing these restrictions is anti-competitive. According to Judge Gonz├ílez Rogers, the possibility of including alternative payment methods “will increase competition, transparency, options for consumers and information,” while preserving the iOS ecosystem.

“The Court has confirmed what we have always known: that the App Store does not violate antitrust laws. As the Court has said, ‘success is not illegal,'” they congratulated themselves from the company headed by Tim Cook in a statement, after know the judicial decision.

The euphoria of the company is understood because, although not being able to maintain exclusivity in payments can mean a certain loss of business, if the judge had decided to knock down other key elements of the operation of the App Store such as the 30% commission, the consequences would have been devastating to the interests of the company.

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