Apple won’t have to allow iPhone apps to use third-party payments tomorrow after all

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Enlarge / A Fortnite loading screen displayed on an iPhone in 2018, when Apple and Epic were not at each other’s throats.

Apple got a last-minute stay on an injunction that would have forced the company to start allowing developers of iPhone and iPad apps to direct users to other payment options.

The requirement to allow connection in the app to third-party payment systems was ordered in a September 10 decision by the judge in the pending case. Epic Games vs. Apple trial. It was one of Epic’s few victories, with judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruling in favor of Apple on most points.

The judge gave Apple until December 9 to make the necessary changes to authorize external payment systems, so this stay comes at the last possible moment. When Judge Gonzalez Rogers dismissed Apple’s initial request to stay the decision, the company appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This call led to this new development.

Apple can now maintain the status quo on this point until the appeal is resolved, possibly in several months.

Here are the key elements of the dossier, such as shared by 9to5Mac:

Apple, Inc. (“Apple”) has decided to stay, in part, the permanent district court injunction of September 10, 2021 pending appeal. Apple’s motion (Dkt. Entry No. 19) is granted.

Apple has shown, at a minimum, that its appeal raises serious questions about the merits of the district court’s ruling that Epic Games, Inc. failed to demonstrate that Apple’s behavior violated antitrust laws, but showed that the same behavior violated California Unfair Competition Law. .

Apple has also sufficiently demonstrated irreparable harm … and that the remaining factors weigh in favor of maintaining part (i) of the injunction and maintaining the status quo pending appeal …

Accordingly, we grant Apple’s motion to stay part (i) of subsection (1) of the permanent injunction. The suspension will remain in effect until the warrant issues this appeal. The current schedule of briefings remains in place.

In its appeal, Apple argued, among other things, that the December 9 date was unrealistic because it “would take months to understand the technical, economic, business and other issues” involved in the change.

This delay does not mean that Apple will ultimately not have to make the change; it just means that the debate will continue. Epic Games has also appealed other aspects of Judge Gonzalez Rogers’ ruling, so this legal battle could go on for a long time to come.

It also does not affect the previous court order that Apple allows communication with users on alternative payment systems outside of apps using user contact information acquired from the app.

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