Apple seeks Ninth Circuit to stop App Store changes ordered in Epic Games case

Apple has filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to seek an injunction to stop the implementation of App Store changes ordered by Judge Rogers in the Epic Games case. The Cupertino tech giant has gone to the higher court after its appeal to delay the Epic Games ruling was denied by Judge Gonzalez Rogers in November 2021.

Although Judge Rogers did not find Apple in violation of antitrust laws by charging 30% commission for all in-app purchases via the App Store, she did find the tech giant guilty of not allowing links to alternative payment methods. The company’s anti-steering policy to prohibit developers from informing users of alternative payment methods outside the App Store was declared anti-competitive and the company was ordered to allow developers to add links to other payment methods in their app within 90 days. This order could drastically impact App Store’s revenue, therefore, Apple is now pinning its hopes on the higher court to rule in its favor. 

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Apple appeals to the higher court to grant a stay motion by December 8, 2021 

The 90 days time to implement App Store changes will expire on December 9, 2021. Thus, the tech giant has asked the Ninth Circuit to grant it a stay to halt the reconfiguration process of its digital marketplace. Bloomberg reports that;

Apple Inc. is asking a higher court to halt a judge’s decision that will force changes to its App Store while a legal fight with Epic Games Inc. continues. Lawyers for the company filed Tuesday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, seeking action by Dec. 8

“Given the injunction’s effective date of Dec. 9, Apple seeks immediate entry of an administrative stay that would expire 30 days after the Court’s ruling on the stay motion,” according to the filing. Without a stay, “the App Store will have to be reconfigured — to the detriment of consumers, developers, and Apple itself.” 

Now we will have to wait to see if the company’s lawyers will be able to convince the higher court. Previously, tech giant’s lawyers were asking for an indefinite delay from Judge Rogers to make the changes because the company wanted to finalize all legal matters with Epic Games first. Unconvinced by the argument, the judge said that;

Apple, though, did not request additional time to comply. It wants an open-ended stay with norequirement that it make any effort to comply. Time is not irreparable injury.

The Court can envision numerous avenues for Apple to comply with the injunction and yet take steps to protect users, to the extent that Apple genuinely believes that external links would create issues. The Court is not convinced, but nor is it here to micromanage. Consumers are quite used to linking from an app to a web browser. Other than, perhaps, needing time to establish Guidelines, Apple has provided no credible reason for the Court to believe that the injunction would cause the professed devastation. Links can be tested by App Review. Users can open browsers and retype links to the same effect; it is merely inconvenient, which then, only works to the advantage of Apple.”

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Addicted to social media and in love with iPhone, started blogging as a hobby. And now it's my passion for every day is a new learning experience. Hopefully, manufacturers will continue to use innovative solutions and we will keep on letting you know about them.

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