Epic v Apple - Both Sides Lose But It's A Win For Developers
Written by Lucy Black   
Monday, 13 September 2021

Finally we can report a result from the Apple vs. Epic Games lawsuit. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has issued a permanent injunction saying that Apple can no longer forbid developers from directing users to third-party payment options, giving devs the prospect of better revenue from in-app purchases.

This ruling comes over a year after Epic Games filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple after Fortnite was removed from the App Store for offering players a 20% discount for paying Epic directly. The case came to trial in May and centered on Epic's claim that by exercising tight control over the App Store Apple was violating California's Unfair Competition Law, that it was operating as an illegal monopoly.

The outcome isn't at all straightforward and has been neatly summed up in Joy of Tech's latest cartoon: 

jtepicgames1

Visit joyoftech.com to view the complete cartoon which reveals the fact that neither side was an outright winner at the end of the day. In particular, the verdict went against Epic in that Judge Rogers decided:

"The court cannot ultimately conclude that Apple is a monopolist" 

and this has led Apple to consider it has won, despite the injunction which means that it can no longer stop developers from providing alternative purchasing mechanism that avoid paying Apple's commission. In other respects Apple's 30% share of revenue from the App Store still stands, so Apple has come off fairly lightly.

In all, the court ruled against Epic on nine out of 10 issues and ordered Epic to pay both costs and damages amounting to millions of dollars. Also, as pointed out by Joy of Tech, Judge Rogers has not required Apple to let Fortnite back into the App Store, instead leaving this decision up to Apple:

jtepicgames2

Epic boss Tim Sweeney has said he was determined to fight on and the company is appealing against the ruling.   

The injunction, which comes into effect in 90 days, should be welcomed by developers whose apps are in the App Store but want to retain a greater share of the additional revenue their apps might earn.

jtepicgames

More Information

Epic Apple Injunction

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Last Updated ( Monday, 13 September 2021 )