App Store: Apple is still trying to prevent other payment methods from being opened

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Apple is still trying to prevent a court-ordered rule change in the App Store. After a decision in the cartel dispute with Epic Games, Apple must allow software providers and developers to integrate links and buttons to external payment options in apps from December. With a new application, Apple is trying to suspend the court’s order at least for the duration of the appeal proceedings (Epic Games vs. Apple, file number 4: 20-cv-05640, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division).

The company now argues that the “integrity of the iOS ecosystem” and the entire “monetization model” will be disrupted by the arrangement. Apple is forced by the order to provide its intellectual property free of charge and to weaken security and privacy.

The court ruled in September that Apple is not an “antitrust monopoly” in the “market for transactions in mobile games”. The judge emphasized that developers should not be prohibited from advising users of cheaper external purchase options in their app. It therefore decreed that Apple had to delete a central app store rule.

This concerns the rule that forbids apps to use “buttons, external links or other calls to action” to refer to payment options other than Apple’s in-app payment interface. Apple has always forbidden this in the App Store because the company withholds a commission of up to 30 percent for purchases made via its own mandatory payment interface (In-App Purchase – IAP).

Other payment service providers are already scratching their feet in the hope of being able to be present in iOS apps in the future. Apple CEO Tim Cook indicated during the process that the company could look for other ways to collect a commission should the requirement for in-app purchases fall. Google wants to allow alternative payment options in apps in South Korea in the future, but continues to charge a commission for this – Apple could proceed in a similar way.

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Epic Games appealed the verdict immediately, and Apple also appealed and has since called for the injunction to be put on hold until the appeal process has been concluded – the latter is currently still being disputed. The injunction comes into effect on December 9th if Apple fails with its appeal – the judge has scheduled a hearing for the coming week.

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