Epic Games vs Apple ' What Does The Recent Decision Mean?

Published date14 October 2021
Law FirmKemp IT Law
AuthorMs Noreen Ajmal

In September, the District Court of Northern California reached a decision in the Epic Games vs Apple case that many have said is a victory for neither party but nevertheless has some very interesting consequences.

In August 2020, Epic Games brought a lawsuit against Apple challenging some of its practices and policies relating to the iOS App Store. One of the things alleged against Apple was that its rules effectively mean it is operating an "illegal monopoly". Epic argued that Apple's requirement that all apps use the App Store purchase tool and its charging of 30% commission for app sales is monopolistic.

The dispute began when Epic issued an update to its Fortnite app on iOS and android that gave users an option to buy V-bucks (Fortnite's virtual currency) directly from Epic, allowing customers to circumvent the App Store for iOS users and GooglePlay for Android users. Apple's reaction was to delist Fortnite from the App Store and Google took similar action on the GooglePlay Store. Epic has filed a lawsuit against Google as well, but this case has not yet gone to trial.

Epic said it wanted to set up its own storefront but was prohibited by Apple's rules. It further contended that it was obligated to charge its customers more for V-bucks because of Apple's large transaction fees through the App Store. This has been a long-standing bugbear of developers against Apple, and Epic said its hope was that a decision in its favour would open the door for other developers to create their own storefronts.

On 10th September Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers issued an injunction that effectively will now allow developers to provide links and information in their apps directing users to opt for alternative payment mechanisms to Apple in-app purchasing. In the...

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