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Apple to appeal App Store ruling over epic games

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Apple on Friday asked a federal appeals court to overturn a legal decision that would require the tech giant to change its strict App Store rules and force app developers to inform customers about ways to pay for subscriptions and services. outside the App Store.

The September verdict followed a years-long legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, the creator of the Fortnite game. Apple has also asked a judge to delay the ruling imposing changes to the App Store until after the appeal has been heard.

Changing the rules too quickly, Apple argued, “would upset the App Store’s careful balance between developers and customers, and would irreparably harm both Apple and consumers.”

At the heart of the battle between Apple and Epic is Apple’s control of its lucrative App Store. By some estimates, the App Store generates $20 billion a year, and the business model requires developers who distribute their apps on iPhones to pay Apple up to 30 percent of their revenue.

Epic called the fees and other App Store rules unfair, accused Apple of anticompetitive behavior and sued the tech giant in May, but the judge, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, ruled that Apple did not. had done. have a monopoly in the mobile game market.

Still, Judge Gonzalez Rogers said Apple violated California’s laws against unfair competition by prohibiting app developers from directing their customers to payment services outside the App Store.

Under the old App Store rules, companies weren’t allowed to tell people using their apps that they could visit those companies’ websites or other locations to pay for services. The judge gave Apple 90 days to change the rules and allow developers to advertise alternative payment methods.

On Friday, Apple asked the judge to consider its request, called a November 2 deferral, in the hopes that it would get a stay until appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco. is ready. According to the company, that could take at least a year.

Epic, also unhappy with aspects of the judge’s decision, appealed the verdict shortly after the ruling.

Still up for debate is what exactly Apple would need to change if the ban were to be enforced. Some have speculated that developers could even offer their own competing payment methods within the App Store, but Apple said Friday it “disagrees with this broad interpretation” of the judge’s ruling.

The company said it had already done some of what Judge Gonzalez Rogers wanted by agreeing in August as part of a settlement to allow developers to use email and other methods to communicate with their customers about alternative payment methods. .

The legal battle began in August last year when Epic tried to educate Fortnite players about Apple’s payment methods, causing Apple to launch Fortnite from the App Store. Epic filed a lawsuit and the two companies met in May at a courthouse in Oakland, California. Apple recently rejected Epic’s request to restore its developer account and bring Fortnite back to the App Store.

The dispute has been followed with great interest by the tech industry as Apple faces allegations of anticompetitive practices and calls for regulation around the world, from Japan and South Korea to the European Union and Congress.

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