From 9 December, Apple must allow iOS app developers to include links to external payment options.
The order itself is not news: indeed that was the only point Apple lost when Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers made her ruling in the Epic vs Apple trial back in September. The judge stated at the time that Apple was “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”.
(Apple was so successful in the other aspects of the case that, despite this setback, it described the ruling as a
resounding victory. Epic Games was less impressed and
appealed – although funnily enough Apple
also appealed, objecting to the single element we’re discussing here.)
What is news is the confirmation of the timing, which had been in question. Apple had asked for additional time to comply with the stipulation, but the judge has now denied the stay, reports
Apple lawyer Mark Perry had claimed it would “take months to figure out the engineering, economic, business, and other issues. It is exceedingly complicated. There have to be guardrails and guidelines to protect children, to protect developers, to protect consumers, to protect Apple. And they have to be written into guidelines that can be explained and enforced and applied.”
But these arguments didn’t sway the judge, who suspected that Apple was trying to put off the change for years. “You haven’t asked for additional time,” she said. “You’ve asked for an injunction which would effectively take years.”
Apple will now appeal to the Ninth Circuit and will ask that the requirement to allow links to external payments not take effect until the separate appeal of the ruling itself has been heard.
This article originally appeared on
Macworld Sweden. Translation (using
DeepL) and additional reporting by David Price.