The lawsuit between Epic Games and Apple has finally come to a close. Although the judge ruled in favor of Apple on nine out of ten instances, it did consider the company’s approach to be anti-competitive. As a result, the tech giant was prohibited from disallowing developers to use links to their own payment systems.
Epic Versus Apple: Finally Resolved
Although Epic Games didn’t manage to reach the outcome it wanted, and its CEO Tim Sweeney lamented not getting Apple to allow developers to offer their own in-app purchases, the game company still landed a huge blow to its opponent.
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers found Apple guilty of anti-competitive practices. This resulted in the court issuing the following injunction to the tech company:
- Apple and all related parties are now strictly prohibited from blocking developers from including hyperlinks to payment methods different from Apple’s
- Parties can seek a modification of this order at any time
- The court will issue sanctions if the injunction’s clauses are breached by any party
- The injunction takes power in ninety days
In the end, however, Apple wasn’t found guilty of holding a monopoly, as Epic Games alleged. Judge Gonzalez-Rogers’ verdict was that a company’s success does not necessarily equal monopoly and that success in itself isn’t illegal.
Apple Is Guilty of Anti-Competitive Practices
The court also disclosed some relevant industry statistics, revealing that despite gamers being a mere 10% or less than the total user base, Apple gets 70% of its revenue through gaming applications. Additionally, it turns out that Apple has around 55% of the application market share.
This wasn’t found to constitute a monopoly, but Apple’s overall violation of the California Unfair Competition Law was definitely something that didn’t go unnoticed and left a sour taste in the judge’s mouth. She pointed out that Apple intentionally hides critical information from its customers and seeks to illegally influence their opinions.
“A nationwide remedy to eliminate those provisions is warranted,” Gonzalez-Rogers promised.
While this may not be an optimal win for Epic Games as it lost on most accounts and had to pay $3.6 million to its opponents, it is definitely a swing in the direction the game company envisions. The main reason for the whole lawsuit was Epic Games’ unwillingness to pay the 30% fee that Apple imposes on developers.
While Apple will still have the right to take this fee for in-app purchases, now it will not be able to prohibit users from providing their own payment links that will be able to avoid taxation.