An Epic Victory: Judge Rules That App Store Must Allow Devs To Link Out To Alternate Payment Methods

Injunction goes into effect in December.

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor September 10, 2021
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Fortnite

The long and arduous saga of Epic Games vs. Apple appears to be drawing to a close -- and it's Epic that can claim victory. Early this morning, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers issued a permanent injunction in the case between the two sparring tech behemoths that will force the App Store to allow developers to link to outside payment sources for their products.

The exact text of the injunction states that Apple is:

permanently restrained and enjoined from prohibiting developers from including in their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing and communicating with customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app.

Judge Gonzalez-Rogers stated that Apple is "engaging in anti-competitive conduct," though she stopped short of declaring the company a "monopolist," as Epic Games alleged. The injunction will go into effect in 90 days, on December 9, unless Apple can succeed in its own, inevitable, challenge.

If it doesn't, this marks a major victory for Epic Games in its battle that began 13 months ago when Epic listed alternate payment choices for Fortnite on the App Store and was summarily booted from the store by Apple. That led to Apple terminating Epic's developer account and a court case that revealed some interesting details about Epic's business and took about 3.5 months for a verdict to be handed down.

Now, eyes turn to a similar Epic v. Google lawsuit, as well as efforts in other countries, like in South Korea, to mimic the California court's injunction (although Apple is fighting against Fortnite's return there). Also, eyes turn toward Tim Sweeney's Twitter account, where -- having already compared his efforts to the Civil Rights movement and John F. Kennedy -- we'll assume that he'll compare himself to Lincoln, for "freeing the stores," or, if he's bold enough, to Jesus, because he (figuratively) "died for your savings."

UPDATE: Epic has asked Apple to reinstate the Fortnite developer account so it can re-release the game on iOS in Korea "offering both Epic pyament and Apple payment side-by-side in compliance with the new Korean law." Judge Gonzalez-Rogers has stated that Epic did violate Apple's terms of service as they were at the time of Fortnite's removal and Apple is not required to reinstate the Epic developer account.

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About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
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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