In September, the Apple vs Epic case was decided, and most observers agreed that it was a positive result for Apple. The company itself called it a
“resounding victory” – it couldn’t be clearer who had won.
“We are very pleased with the Court’s ruling and we consider this a huge win for Apple,” said General Counsel Kate Adams at the time.
But maybe it’s not quite that simple. Because, despite its own enthusiastic description of the verdict, Apple is now choosing to appeal against it, reports
Why would Apple appeal? The ruling sided with Apple on many counts, but it did stipulate that the company cannot ban developers from offering alternative payment solutions on the App Store; it’s this part that Apple is now seeking to overturn.
“[Apple is] 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,” the judge wrote.
Appealing against the ruling means the case can be reopened, and as long as the trial is ongoing Apple can delay the introduction of third-party payment services. The appeal is due to be heard by a judge in November, and if Apple is granted the requested stay, the trial could continue for years to come.
This means Apple can continue to insist that developers and businesses on the App Store use its own payment system, which is currently the only option. But there’s a paradox here, because Apple’s appeal is based in part on the notion that the so-called “anti-steering” stipulation isn’t necessary, because the company has already allowed developers to offer alternative payment systems.
Apple claims it has agreed to “permit all US Developers to communicate with their customers via email and other communication services outside their app abut purchasing methods other than in-app purchase, provided that the customer consents to the communication and has the right to opt out.”
Yet, as The Verge points out, that certainly wasn’t clear when Apple announced the
relevant changes to its App Store rules; most observers assumed that devs would only be allowed to communicate with customers, not actively link to other payment methods.
Bizarrely, Epic has also announced its intention to appeal; indeed it did so almost as soon as the verdict came in. We’ll do our best to keep track of this strange and complex case, and will report the latest announcements as they come in.
This article originally appeared on
Macworld Sweden. Translation (using
DeepL) and additional reporting by David Price.