Apple Wins Stay in Epic Case, Won’t Have to Implement App Store Changes Tomorrow

Apple has successfully won a stay on an injunction that would have required it to make major changes to the App Store as soon as December 9, so for now, Apple can continue to require developers to use their in-app purchasing system without to offer alternatives.

The judge in the ongoing Epic v. Apple case had ordered Apple to allow developers to provide customers with in-app purchases in their apps, and she gave the Cupertino company until Dec. 9 to implement the changes. Apple asked for a stay, which she refused, and after that refusal, Apple sent the request to the Ninth Court of Appeal.

The appellate court granted the stay, saying that Apple has shown that its appeal raises “serious questions” about the ruling in the original case.

Apple has, as a minimum, demonstrated that its appeal raises serious questions about the justification of the district court’s decision that Epic Games, Inc. failed to show that Apple’s conduct violated any antitrust law, but showed that the same conduct was in violation of California’s unfair competition law. […]

Therefore, we accept Apple’s proposal to postpone part (i) of section (1) of the Permanent Order. The postponement remains in force until the mandate is issued in this appeal.

The court has postponed the execution of the order until it is able to fully deal with the case, which may take several months. While the court processes Apple’s appeal, Apple will be able to operate the ‌App Store‌ as it is.

In the original ruling, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers said Apple would be banned from restricting developers from including “in their apps and their metadata buttons, external links or other calls to action that lead customers to purchase mechanisms,” paving the way for alternative payment options that do not require Apple to use the in-app purchasing system.

Apple has argued that the proposed ‌App Store‌ changes may “disrupt the careful balance between developers and customers that the ‌‌‌App Store‌‌‌ provides to you”, resulting in irreparable harm to Apple and consumers, and Apple has also argued that it needs more time to work through “the complex and rapidly evolving legal, technological and economic problems” that the necessary change would cause.

Should the Court of Appeal ultimately rule in Apple’s favor after examining the case, the order may be waived permanently. Apple’s victory today means we’ll have to wait several months for the legal process to unfold before any ‌App Store‌ changes are implemented.

As for Fortnite, there is no clear path for the app to return to the ‌App Store‌, and it looks like it will continue to be unavailable on Apple’s platform.

William

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