Apple has landed a last-minute stay over a ban that allegedly required the company from iPhone and iPad app developers directing users to alternative payment options.
The requirement to allow in-app links to third-party payment systems was ordered in a Sept. 10 ruling by the judge in the ongoing Epic games against Apple lawsuit. This was one of the few wins for Epic, as Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled in favor of Apple on most counts.
The judge gave Apple until December 9 to make the necessary changes to enable third-party payment systems, so this postponement comes at the last possible moment. When Judge Gonzalez Rogers rejected Apple’s initial request to suspend the ruling, the company appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That attraction has led to this new development.
Apple can now maintain the status quo on this point until the appeal is settled, probably many months from now.
Here are the key parts of the submission, as shared by 9to5Mac:
Apple, Inc. (“Apple”) has decided to partially suspend the court’s permanent injunction dated September 10, 2021 pending appeal. Apple’s motion (Dkt. Entry No. 19) is granted.
At the very least, Apple has shown that its appeal raises serious questions about the merits of the court’s finding that Epic Games, Inc. has not demonstrated that Apple’s conduct violates antitrust laws, but that the same conduct violates California’s Unfair Competition Act. †
Apple has also sufficiently demonstrated that irreparable damage has been done…
Therefore, we are giving Apple’s motion to suspend part (i) of paragraph (1) of the permanent ban. The suspension will remain in effect until the mandate issues this appeal. The existing briefing schedule will be maintained.
In its appeal, Apple argued, among other things, that the December 9 date was not realistic because it would “take months to figure out the technical, economic, business and other issues” involved in the change.
This delay doesn’t mean Apple won’t eventually need to make the change; it simply means that the debate will continue. Epic Games has also appealed other aspects of Judge Gonzalez Rogers’ ruling, so this legal battle could be long.
It also does not affect the court’s previous order that Apple allows communication with users about alternative payment systems outside of apps using user contact information obtained from the app.