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Apple is appealing Epic Games' decision, originally called a 'great win'

Apple is appealing Epic Games' decision, originally called a 'great win'

With potentially billions of dollars and some control over the App Store, Apple has filed to appeal the ruling in its major trial against Epic. While Apple largely won that case (the company called the ruling a "great victory"), Judge Gonzalez Rogers ruled in favor of Apple in nine of the ten claims brought against the company by Epic, in a significant way. Lost: The judge found that Apple violated California's anti-steering rules, and demanded that Apple let developers link to external payment systems. That policy would have gone into effect in December, but it could be extended beyond that – and it seems.

As part of the appeal, Apple is asking the company to stop implementing the new anti-steering rules, arguing that it "doesn't allow Apple to protect consumers and protect its platform." " while the company deals with complex and rapidly evolving legal, technical and economic issues." And if we're reading the document correctly, the company's arguments are very revealing.

For example, Apple claims the new anti-steering rule is unnecessary because the company has already agreed to remove the offending section of its App Store guidelines in the Cameron v. Apple agreement, but here's news to us: that Time. Apple only agreed to "clarify" that app developers were allowed to communicate with consenting customers, not link to external payment systems. That explanation was widely seen as a red herring by the developers. At the time, Apple didn't say anything about removing a portion of its App Store guidelines altogether.

It also seems that Apple is genuinely afraid that a court order will force them to open the App Store for an alternative payment mechanism, despite what some Apple pundits have claimed. A button can actually be a button:

Links and buttons to alternative payment mechanisms are fraught with risk. Users who click on a payment link embedded in an app – especially one distributed through a curated app store – are expected to be taken to a webpage where they can securely access their payment information, email address or other personal information. can reach. can be given.

Apple argues that if it were forced to allow app developers to connect to external payment systems, it would not be able to protect users from fraud:

While Apple may check links in a version of an app submitted for review, nothing can prevent a developer from changing the landing point of that link or the content of the destination webpage. Additionally, Apple currently has no ability to determine whether a user who clicks on an external link has actually received the product or features it has paid for. Apple already receives hundreds of thousands of reports from users every day, and allowing links to external payment options will add to that burden. In short, the introduction of external payment links, especially without sufficient time to test and evaluate the security implications, would lead to the same security concerns that Apple typically faces with the use of IAPs, which the Courts agreed on. Was. There were valid, competing reasons for the design of the App Store.

There are many open questions about how well Apple protects App Store users — it was only last week that the company added a feature to easily report obvious App Store scams.

The company also cites a blog post (and The Verge's story) from Paddle, which would rival Apple's in-app payments, that emerged following the Epic vs. Apple decision. , it was used to denote a potential danger to consumers. Certainly not because of its low fees, but because "contrary to Apple's strict privacy rules, that developer wants to provide access to user email addresses."

Other arguments have also been raised, which you can read in full in the document embedded at the bottom of this post. Overall, the company states that "speedy implementation of this aspect of the prohibition would upset the careful balance between developers and customers provided by the App Store, and would cause irreparable harm to both Apple and consumers."

Apple also cites a previous case, Ohio v. AmEx, as evidence that transaction platforms such as the App Store can foster competition despite steering restrictions. (However, Emacs doesn't double as a software marketplace.)

It is important to note that Apple has only filed for appeal; We don't know whether the court will grant an appeal — and an adjournment — right now. When the ruling originally went in September, Apple said at the time that it had not decided whether to appeal.

For its part, Epic announced its intention to appeal on the same day that Judge Gonzalez Rogers issued his order and permanent injunction against Apple. It was clear from the start that Epic was not happy.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney released his response to the appeal, and it's pretty much what you'd expect:

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