In Epic vs. Apple Court Fight, a Win for App Developers

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Apple is widely expected to ask the judge not to enforce the order. Both companies can also appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In that court, a panel of three judges can review a decision, a process that can take a year or more. Apple or Epic can appeal to the Supreme Court after the verdict there.

The ruling allows both parties to claim a partial victory. Apple now has a court ruling that says it does not operate a monopoly in a key digital marketplace, reducing its opponents’ efforts to claim it violates anti-trust laws. But Epic’s lawsuit could force Apple to unlock its airtight iPhone software so developers can avoid its commission.

Shares of Apple fell nearly 3 percent on the Nasdaq exchange after the verdict was announced.

“The court today confirmed that what we know: the App Store does not violate anti-trust laws,” Apple said in a statement. “As the court recognized, ‘success is not illegal.’ Apple faces stiff competition in every segment in which we do business, and we believe that customers and developers choose us because our products and services are the best in the world.

The ruling upheld many of Apple’s App Store business principles, including banning third-party iPhone app marketplaces and continuing to charge a 30 percent commission on many transactions. Epic challenged those practices.

“It puts an economic question mark around the App Store, but at the same time, it upholds business principles,” said Adam Kovasevich, a former Google lobbyist who now runs a tech-policy group sponsored by Apple. .

Tim Sweeney, Epic’s chief executive, Said on Twitter Nor is it satisfied with the ruling because it is not enough to allow companies to complete transactions in the app with their own payment systems, as opposed to sending customers to outside websites. He said Fortnight will not return to the App Store unless such rules apply.

“Today’s ruling is not a win for developers or consumers,” he said. “We will fight.”

Mr. No-confidence lawyer Rubin said Apple would be relieved to be labeled a monopoly, but the judge’s ruling would do little to strengthen its position in other investigations, largely because the no-confidence lawsuit could vary. He said Apple may now also consider reducing its commissions as it would be easier for developers to send customers to make purchases elsewhere.

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