Apple v. Epic: Judge orders iPhone maker to enable third-party payments

The Epic v. Apple case continues to make headlines, as the iPhone maker’s “request for a stay” has been denied. The ruling of the case requires Apple to add buttons, call to action, and external links to third-party payment mechanisms inside apps. However, the company plans to appeal the decision. 

“This will be the first time Apple has ever allowed live links in an app for digital content. It’s going to take months to figure out the engineering, economic, business, and other issues,” said Apple’s attorney Mark Perry. “It is exceedingly complicated. There have to be guardrails and guidelines to protect children, to protect developers, to protect consumers, to protect Apple. And they have to be written into guidelines that can be explained and enforced and applied.”

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Apple does not allow developers to add links to third-party payment systems in their app. The only option is to go through the company’s payment system which takes a small fee. 

“In short, Apple’s motion is based on a selective reading of this Court’s findings and ignores all of the findings which supported the injunction, namely incipient antitrust conduct including supercompetitive commission rates resulting in extraordinarily high operating margins and which have not been correlated to the value of its intellectual property,” said Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. “This incipient antitrust conduct is the result, in part, of the antisteering policies which Apple has enforced to harm competition.”

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Apple believes that adding ways to pay through different payment mechanisms would cause “professed devastation”. 

“As a consequence, the motion is fundamentally flawed. Further, even if additional time was warranted to comply with the limited injunction, Apple did not request additional time other than ten days to appeal this ruling,” added Judge Rogers. “Thus, the Court does not consider the option of additional time, other than the requested ten days.”

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