Oct 8, 2021 - Technology

Apple to appeal Epic ruling that would force changes to App Store

An illustration of the Apple App Store logo sitting on a scale of justice

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Apple said Friday it plans to appeal a portion of the ruling in its legal battle with Fortnite creator Epic Games. It is also asking the judge to put on hold an injunction ordering Apple to make certain changes to its App Store policies.

Why it matters: While the court sided with Apple on many of Epic's claims, it did issue an injunction forcing Apple to let developers include in their apps a mention of payment options beyond Apple's in-app purchase system.

Catch up quick: Epic sued Apple, arguing that the company was abusing a monopoly over its App Store and asking the court to require Apple to allow alternative app stores and payment methods. The case went to trial in May.

  • In last month's ruling, the judge declined to do any of that, but did issue the injunction related to communication between app makers and customers. Apple now wants that put on hold, pending appeal. Otherwise it will go into effect Dec. 9.
  • Epic already said it would appeal the ruling.

Between the lines: Epic set the stage for this showdown — and a parallel one with Google — when it pushed an update that added Epic's own store and in-app payments mechanism into the iOS and Android versions of Fortnite. Apple and Google both immediately removed Fortnite from their stores, and Epic quickly filed suit against both companies. (Epic's Google case has yet to go to trial.)

The big picture: Beyond this case, Apple is facing a host of other lawsuits, investigations from regulators around the world, as well as new legislation in Korea, and possibly elsewhere.

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