On October 11, Apple filed a motion to delay the part of the ruling in the Apple/Epic Games case that would require Apple to provide developers with the ability to link to alternate payment methods from the App Store. Apple was initially ordered by the court to implement the changes in 90 days, but requested the delay due to the "complex and rapidly evolving legal, technological, and economic issues" such a move would represent.
In response to that request, Epic said, "No, do it now."
That's basically the gist of today's filing by Epic, but if you want to read more lawyer-friendly words, here you go:
Epic said that the pause "could take years" and that Apple has not shown that it merits receiving a pause in its implementation. Epic claims that it "continues to suffer injury from Apple's anti-steering provisions" and that the stay would "simply let Apple off the hook, and perpetuate the harms to consumers and developers, for a substantial period of time."
Without intricate technical knowledge of the work involved, I might be willing to grant that allowing apps to link out to alternate payment methods might not be the kind of thing that the App Store can implement in three months. That "90 days" time limit might just be a standard period that courts usually grant for obligations to be fulfilled.
On the other hand, I also have a hard time believing it could take years, if Apple is being honest about the work it's doing to implement the changes -- which is one point where I agree with Epic, when it says that the court shouldn't "trust Apple to fix the problems on its own."
In other words, 90 days might be too short a time frame, and Apple might be correct in wanting to have a longer leash, but Epic is also right in saying that, if allowed to set its own timetable, Apple might let this drag on forever. The question is whether the courts will also see things that way.
UPDATE, Nov. 10: Judge Rogers has denied Apple's request, saying that "Apple’s motion is based on a selective reading of this Court’s findings and ignores all of the findings which supported the injunction" and the company "provided no credible reason for the Court to believe that the injunction would cause the professed devastation." Apple must implement its anti-steering provisions by the previously assigned deadline of December 9. The decision can be read in full here.
According to antitrust reporter Leah Nylen, Apple's next move could be to ask the Ninth Circuit to stay the ruling; if that doesn't work, it can appeal to the Supreme Court.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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