Apple has temporarily won a reprieve in its ongoing legal battle with Epic Games over the company’s “anti-steering” rules, which limit how developers can direct users to payment options outside of Apple’s App Store. The tech giant has been granted a 90-day hold on an appeals court ruling that would have required it to remove these rules.
Previously, a district court found that while Apple had not violated antitrust laws, it needed to eliminate rules that prohibited “calls to action” for external payment methods. Apple disagreed with this decision and has now announced its intention to petition the Supreme Court for a review of the case.
Epic Games, the company that initially filed the lawsuit against Apple, has expressed doubt that the Supreme Court will agree to review the case. However, the Ninth Circuit Judge who granted Apple’s 90-day hold voiced criticism of the company’s arguments, stating that they would not withstand scrutiny.
The original ruling in this case was issued in September 2021, with both Epic Games and Apple subsequently appealing it. In April 2022, the appeals court upheld the district court’s decision. Apple’s request for Supreme Court review could have far-reaching implications for the future of the app ecosystem, as it challenges the control Apple exerts over in-app purchases and subscription payments through its App Store.
The outcome of this legal battle will undoubtedly shape the landscape for app developers and consumers alike. It remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court will agree to hear Apple’s petition and whether they will ultimately uphold the current ruling or side with the tech giant. As the 90-day hold on the appeals court ruling begins, the industry eagerly awaits further developments in this high-stakes clash between Apple and Epic Games.
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