Apple has filed an appeal against the ruling of Epic Games vs. Apple where the court ordered the Cupertino tech giant to allow developers to offer alternative payment options in its App Store. The company is seeking to stay an injunction that would delay changes to its App Store’s “anti-steering” terms.
Apple trying to delay App Store changes ordered by the court in the Epic Games vs. Apple ruling
Apple filed a notice of appeal on Friday from the final judgment and order of permanent injunction entered on September 10, 2021, given by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers.
Notice is hereby given that Defendant Apple Inc. appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from the final judgment and order of permanent injunction entered on September 10, 2021 (Dkts. 813 & 816), as well as all rulings, orders, findings, and conclusions leading up to that judgment and order, including but not limited to those set forth in the Rule 52 Order After Trial on the Merits (Dkt. 812).
On September 10, Judge Rogers gave her verdict in the high-profile case of Epic Games vs. Apple. The court ruled in favor of Epic on the count of California’s Unfair Competition Law that Apple’s anti-steering policy is anti-competitive. But ruled in Apple’s favor on all other counts. In addition, the court forbade the Cupertino tech giant from forcing developers to use its App Store payment method.
In addition to the notice of appeal, Apple asked the court to stay the injunction until the appeals, in this case, are resolved. The tech giant said that it “understands and respects the Court’s concerns regarding communications between developers and consumers” and that it is “carefully working through many complex issues across a global landscape, seeking to enhance information flow while protecting both the efficient functioning of the App Store and the security and privacy of Apple’s customers.”
In its appeal, Apple says the enforcement of the injunction “would upset the careful balance between developers and customers provided by the App Store, and would irreparably harm both Apple and consumers.” The company went on to say it wants to “protect consumers and safeguard its platform while the company works through the complex and rapidly evolving legal, technological, and economic issues that any revisions to this Guideline would implicate.”
There are many complexities to running the global iOS ecosystem, with close to 200 storefronts, millions of developers, and billions of customers. As the Court recognized, Apple operates in a dynamic environment, with the trial being a “snapshot” at a single point in time in a “moving stream.” Implementing the injunction on December 9 could have unintended downstream consequences for consumers and the platform as a whole. Apple is working hard to address these difficult issues in a changing world, enhancing information flow without compromising the consumer experience. A stay of the injunction would permit Apple to do so in a way that maintains the integrity of the ecosystem, and that could obviate the need for any injunction regarding steering.
Apple also reiterated that that alternative payment systems in apps could threaten user privacy and security saying “links and buttons to alternate payment mechanisms are fraught with risk,” and that developers could try to take advantage of users.
Companies are already looking to offer alternative payment options to developers to implement in their apps. Recently, software company Paddle has announced an alternative to Apple’s in-app purchase system in App Store. The new service is slated for release on 7th December 2021, in line with the terms of the court ruling.