Apple files appeal requesting for App Store in-app payment link changes to be delayed

Apple has filed an appeal for the one count it lost in its legal fight with Epic Games.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor
Image: Getty Images

A month after a US federal court gave a mixed-court ruling for the Apple-Epic Games lawsuit, Apple has filed a notice of appeal for the ruling and requested a stay of an injunction that would require the App Store to allow developers to add in-app purchasing mechanisms to iOS apps.

In the ruling, the presiding judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers found Apple engaged in anticompetitive conduct under California's competition laws. Consequently, she issued a permanent injunction to block Apple's App Store rule that prevents developers from adding in-app links to payment websites. The injunction also ordered for Apple to allow developers to communicate with customers via contact information that is voluntarily submitted by customers when they set up an account within an app.

The injunction is currently scheduled to go into effect in December.

In a court filing [PDF], Apple requested for the injunction to be stayed until all appeals in the proceedings are resolved. The iPhone maker said it wanted to stay the injunction until litigation was settled as it wanted clarity while it "works through the complex and rapidly evolving legal, technological, and economic issues that any revisions to this guideline would implicate."

It added that the stay of the injunction would not affect participants in the case, specifically Epic Games, as Apple has decided to ban the games developer from the iOS store until all appeals are resolved.

"Epic will suffer no harm from a stay because, as authorised by the Court's decision, Apple recently rejected Epic's request to reinstate its developer program account; Epic has no live apps on the App Store and thus no standing to enforce the injunction," Apple wrote in its request.  

On the opposing side, Epic Games filed a notice of appeal last month of Gonzales Rogers's broader decision, which sided with Apple in concluding that the iPhone maker's app store practices did not violate other state or federal antitrust laws.

While Apple has continued to remain firm in its legal stoush with Epic Games, the iPhone maker has made various concessions regarding the way its app store operates to appease regulatory and legal concerns arising elsewhere. These concessions include eventually allowing developers of "reader" apps to link to external websites for setting up and managing accounts to wrap up a Japanese antitrust probe, and allowing apps developers to implement payment systems outside of the App Store and communicate directly with customers about them to settle a separate US class action lawsuit.

In relation to the settlement, developers with iOS apps can now implement payment systems outside of the App Store, but if Apple's stay is approved, developers will continue to not be allowed to add links to these systems in apps at least until the appeals in the Apple-Epic Games proceedings are resolved.


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