With billions of dollars in potential and some control of the App Store at stake, Apple has stepped in by request Appeals to verdict in its main trial against Epic Games.
While the iPhone maker has largely won the case, calling the ruling a resounding victory, the judge ruled in her favour, 9 out of 10 claims Epic Games made against her. But I lost an important claim.
The judge found that she had violated California’s anti-directive rules and required it to allow developers to link to third-party payment systems. This policy could have been implemented in December. But it may be pushed beyond that, and that seems to be the point.
As part of the appeal, Apple is seeking a moratorium to prevent it from having to implement the new anti-routing rules, arguing that they allow it to protect consumers and protect its platform while the company works through complex and rapidly evolving legal, technological and economic issues.
For example, the company claims that the new anti-routing rule is unnecessary because it agreed to delete the offending section of the App Store guidelines.
At the time, Apple agreed to clarify that it allowed app developers to communicate with approved customers, not link to third-party payment systems.
This explanation was widely considered by the developers as misinformation. And the company didn’t say at the time about deleting a section of the App Store’s guidelines.
It also appears to fear that the court order will force it to open the App Store to alternative payment mechanisms, despite what some critics of the company have claimed.
“The links and buttons for alternative payment mechanisms are fraught with risks,” Apple said. Users who click on a payment link embedded in an application expect to be directed to a web page where they can securely provide their payment information, email address, or other personal information.
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Apple previously described the ruling as a resounding victory
The company goes on to say that if it had to allow app developers to link to third-party payment systems, it wouldn’t be able to protect users from fraud.
“Apple can check the links in the version of the app submitted for review,” she said. But there is nothing to prevent the developer from changing this link or changing the content of the destination web page. In addition, we do not currently have the ability to determine whether a user who clicks on an external link has received products or features that they have paid for.
“We receive hundreds of thousands of reports every day from users, and allowing links to external payment options only adds to that burden.” The introduction of external payment links leads to the same security concerns that we combat with IAPs in general.
The company cited a blog post from Paddle, a potential in-app payments competitor that emerged after the court ruling. It used it to illustrate a potential threat of providing access to users’ email addresses, in contrast to Apple’s strict privacy rules.
The company says that speedy enforcement of this aspect of the injunction would upset the balance between developers and customers in the store. It also irreparably harms both Apple and consumers.
The company also cites a previous case as evidence that the App Store can boost competition despite guidance restrictions.
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