US Federal Court orders Apple to ease App Store rules
Apple will have to allow app developers to send their users to other payment systems as a federal court ordered in a legal case between Apple and the creator of "Fortnite" video game, Epic Games.
A year ago, Epic Games offered Fortnite players discounts if they used Epic’s payment system instead of those from Apple and Google. Both of the companies quickly removed Fortnite from their app stores. As a response, Epic Games sued both of them. Apple tried to dismiss the lawsuit, however, it failed to do so.
According to Sensor Tower, an app data firm, the App Store makes around $20 billion a year for Apple. Apple has forced app developers to use its payment systems in exchange for access to Apple's app store, which is the only way to get an app on Apple devices. Apple benefits commissions on many transactions based on this arrangement.
The judge, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, stated that Apple violated California’s laws against unfair competition by barring app developers from directing customers to other ways to pay for their services. According to her order, Apple must let developers include links in their apps to other payment methods within 90 days. Although the court dismissed the antitrust conduct of Apple stating that " while the court finds that Apple enjoys a considerable market share of over 55 percent and extraordinarily high-profit margins, these factors alone do not show antitrust conduct,” the judge said. “Success is not illegal.”