Despite the earlier Epic v. Apple decision, which would have allowed developers to redirect customers to third-party payment options, the technology behemoth has successfully obtained a stay on an injunction that would have required the company to make the aforementioned changes. For the time being, Apple can continue to require developers to use its in-app purchasing system without providing alternatives.
If Apple failed in its bid to stay, App Store changes would have had to be implemented by December 9.
“Apple has demonstrated, at minimum, that its appeal raises serious questions on the merits of the district court’s determination that Epic Games, Inc. failed to show Apple’s conduct violated any antitrust laws but did show that the same conduct violated California’s Unfair Competition Law.”
In the original ruling, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers stated that Apple would not be permitted to prohibit developers from including ‘in their apps and metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms,’ allowing for alternate payment options that do not require Apple to use the in-app purchase system.
Apple has argued that the proposed App Store changes could upset the delicate balance that the App Store has established between developers and customers. If this balance is disrupted, the company claims that it will cause irreparable harm to Apple and its customers, so the company previously stated that it needs more time to work through several issues, including legal, economic, and technological ones, to make the necessary changes.
“Therefore, we grant Apple’s motion to stay part (i) of paragraph (1) of the permanent injunction. The stay will remain in effect until the mandate issues in this appeal. The existing briefing schedule remains in place.”
Apple’s victory today means that App Store changes will have to wait several months before they are implemented. This decision would be a major setback for Epic Games, and it does not appear that Fortnite will be available on Apple’s platform anytime soon.