Justice has ruled, Apple will a priori be forced to open its App Store to alternative means of payment. However, Epic Games does not really believe that it won its case. So who won what, exactly?
On Friday September 10, 2021 at the end of the day, the sentence fell. Apple can no longer impose its in-house payment system for all purchases made on iPhone. The manufacturer had been entangled in the courts for several months, due to a complaint from Epic Games. The studio behind Fortnite criticized Apple for having anti-competitive and monopolistic behavior.
In essence, Epic seems to have got what it wanted: the ability to offer its payment system to avoid the 30% commission charged by Apple. However, on September 12 the publisher of Fortnite appealed against this court decision. Why is that ?
The question of monopoly
If, according to the court decision, Apple can no longer ” prohibit developers from including in their applications tools that direct customers to purchasing mechanismss ”alternatives to that of Apple, the case was not won by Epic so far. Depending on the sites you read, you may think Epic won its case or that Apple came out on top. In reality, both companies have more or less lost.
Granted, Apple can no longer restrict iPhone owners to using its payment system (which could be a blow to the App Store’s business model), but the accusations of monopolistic and anti-competitive behavior have not been upheld. by justice. Epic was also ordered to pay damages to Apple for having imposed its payment system in the iOS version of Fortnite.
It’s hard to say under these conditions that Epic really won his case. Especially since accusations of monopoly and anti-competitive behavior were an important part of the case. According to Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers, if “ evidence suggests that Apple is near a monopoly with its considerable market share “, The firm is saved by the fact that” its share is not higher than that of competitors in related submarkets “.
Fortnite is not about to return
Epic is therefore resuming the attack (on appeal) to avoid paying too much damages to the iPhone manufacturer (the publisher owes Apple $ 3.6 million a priori) and to prove that Apple would exercise well a monopoly on the application distribution market. If justice were to side with the publisher of Fortnite, Apple would be forced to open up its system a little more, and perhaps even let Epic recover its developer account on the App Store.
Because yes, Epic Games is still banned from the app store and according to the court ruling, the firm has every right to keep the game publisher away from its platform. In short, Epic fought for the right of other developers to offer alternative payment systems, but will not be able to take advantage of them itself. Pity.