Months-long legal battle between Epic and Apple has just culminated in Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’ issuing a permanent injunction that compels Apple to allow independent payment systems.
App developers can now direct users to payment options outside the App Store. The injunction is coming into force on December 9th, unless overruled by a higher court.
Despite what might appear as the ultimate victory for Epic, the judge said “Given the trial record, the court cannot ultimately conclude that Apple is a monopolist under either federal or state antitrust laws,” she continued. “Nonetheless, the trial did show that Apple is engaging in anti-competitive conduct under California’s competition laws.”
Moreover, the court found Epic Games in breach of its contract with Apple when it rolled its own payment system in the Fortnite app. Now Epic must pay Apple 30 percent of all revenue collected through the system since it was introduced, which amounts to more than $3.5 million.
The ruling also didn’t allow Epic to offer its own app store on Apple’s App Store. In total, Apple won on nine of 10 counts.
“We are very pleased with the court’s ruling and we consider this a huge win for Apple,” Apple general counsel Kate Adams said even as Apple stock dropped more than 3 percent in trading Friday.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney criticized the ruling on Twitter: “Today’s ruling isn’t a win for developers or for consumers. Epic is fighting for fair competition among in-app payment methods and app stores for a billion consumers.”
Epic is planning to appeal.
In the meantime, Google is facing a similar lawsuit.