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Appeals court says Apple does not yet need to let iOS developers connect to external payment methods •

Following a judge’s ruling that Apple must allow developers to connect to external payment systems in their iOS apps in its lawsuit with Epic Games, an appeals court has allowed Apple to delay the change until he is fully able to hear the case.

In September – following a lengthy legal battle stemming from Apple’s decision to remove Fortnite from its App Store after Epic violated App Store guidelines by deliberately bypassing iOS’s built-in payment mechanisms – California judge Gonzalez Rogers has spoken out against all but one of Epic’s legal challenges. .

Gonzalez Rogers proclaimed that Apple was free to control its own platform’s payment system – because Epic had failed to prove that the iPhone maker had a monopoly as defined by antitrust laws – but also decided that Apple could not prevent developers from signing in to alternative payment methods from within their apps, or prevent developers from notifying customers of alternative payment methods using contact information voluntarily provided for this purpose, because this would constitute “anti-competitive behavior” under state law.

Epic’s Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite short, released in response to Fortnite’s removal from the iOS App Store.

The ruling was originally scheduled to be implemented from December 9, but Apple asked the district court to delay the implementation date until all appeals in the Epic v. Apple be resolved. However, Gonzalez Rogers denied the claim, saying “Apple’s motion is based on a selective reading of the findings of this Court and ignores all of the findings that supported the injunction.”

Following this initial failure, Apple took its claim to the Court of Appeal, which has now (thanks, The Verge) granted the stay, allowing the company to continue to insist that developers use the purchasing system exclusively. built-in iOS. Importantly, this does not undo Gonzalez Rogers’ initial decision; it simply allows Apple to delay its implementation until the appeals court can fully hear the case – a process which, as The Verge notes, will likely take months.

“Apple has shown, at a minimum, that its appeal raises serious questions about the merits of the district court’s decision,” said the appeal court’s decision. “Therefore, we grant Apple’s motion to stay part (i) of subsection (1) of the permanent injunction. The stay will remain in effect until the warrant is issued in this appeal.”

However, the second part of Gonzalez Rogers’ decision ordering Apple to allow developers to communicate alternative payment methods with customers is unaffected by the appeals court ruling and is yet to unfold. as expected.

Following the September ruling, Epic appealed the outcome, claiming that the initial judgment “[wasn’t] a win for developers or consumers. ”At the same time, Epic began asking Apple to allow Fortnite to return to the App Store – a request Apple refused, citing“ Epic’s deceptive conduct in the past. ”He added that he would not reconsider this decision until“ the judgment of the district court becomes final and without appeal ”.