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Apple wins postponement to App Store changes from Epic ruling

Current policies in operation until Epic antitrust legal battle closes

Apple has been granted a stay against a ruling that demanded it alter its App Store policies to allow fairer competition, in the ongoing Apple versus Epic legal battle.

In September, a US District Court judge ruled in favour of Apple on all of Epic Games’ claims but one, and Apple was ordered to remove its anti-steering App Store policies found to violate California’s Unfair Competition Law.

The anti-steering measures prevent developers from linking to external websites that allow the purchasing of virtual currencies or in-game items that curb Apple’s 30 per cent revenue cut.

The tech firm was originally given a 90-day deadline to implement the changes by 9 December 2021, but a last-minute ruling within the final 12 hours narrowly allowed Apple to avoid having to make the changes.

Cutting it close

Apple first filed an appeal against the motion in October claiming that the changes would harm both users and developers of iOS platforms.

“Apple has demonstrated, at minimum, that its appeal raises serious questions on the merits of the district court’s determination that Epic Games failed to show Apple’s conduct violated any antitrust laws but did show that the same conduct violated California’s Unfair Competition Law,” wrote the judges that granted the reprieve.

“Our concern is that these changes would have created new privacy and security risks, and disrupted the user experience customers love about the App Store,” said a spokesperson for Apple.

As a result of the successful appeal, Apple will not have to implement any changes as the potentially years-long back-and-forth appeals process continues.

In October, following an investigation into its App Store practices a Dutch antitrust authority found that Apple’s App Store payments are anti-competitive and instructed the firm to alter its in-app payment system. Apple has appealed against the ruling and requested that a publication of the ruling is not published until after the appeal process.

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