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News other 10 November 2021, 22:51

author: Jacob Blazewicz

Apple Resists Ruling in Epic Case; New Verdict

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has rejected Apple's request that it hold off on introducing links and third-party payments in the App Store following the Epic Games ruling.

IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has once again ordered Apple to implement support for external links and payments in the App Store;
  2. The company requested an indefinite stay of the injunction in practice, due to the complexity of the implementation process (and the confidence of winning a future appeal).

September's ruling in Epic Games vs. Apple conflict technically marked a defeat for Tim Sweeney's company, but the other company also had to make some concessions. At least in theory, because apparently the owner of iOS is resisting. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has rejected Apple's request to suspend an injunction to enable developers to include external links in the App Store, allowing off-platform payments (via The Verge).

Rogers, who led the last trial, issued another ruling after yesterday's hearing on Apple's move. Lawyer Mark Perry, representing the company, sought a stay of the introduction of the requested option due to the problematic nature of the entire process. The lawyer explained that just figuring out all the engineering, economic, business, etc. issues is a matter of months. The company needs to ensure the safety of consumers and children (external links can lead to "malicious sites" and be used in scams), as well as develop appropriate guidelines.

It's not hard to guess that Epic Games' representative (Garry Bornstein) wasn't thrilled with Perry's arguments, seeing them as a delaying tactic (as he subtly put it: "Apple does nothing unless it is forced to do it"). Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers also expressed doubts about Apple's stance, which was not asking for additional time but for a de facto indefinite delay of the injunction, perhaps even for years:

“Apple’s motion is based on a selective reading of this Court’s findings and ignores all of the findings which supported the injunction. […]

You haven’t asked for additional time. You’ve asked for an injunction which would effectively take years,” she said. “You asked for an across-the-board stay which could take 3, 4, 5 years."

Mark Perry has openly stated that Apple wants to delay making changes until the case is finally decided because it is "certain" that it will "win the appeal". Judge Rogers did not accept this explanation and ruled that the company wanted "an open-ended stay with no requirement that it make any effort to comply."

She rejected Perry's interpretation that the introduction of support for third-party sites in the App Store could be to the detriment of users because, she said, "Apple has provided no credible reason for the Court to believe that the injunction would cause the professed devastation." In the new order, it upheld its previous decision, ordering Apple to make the requested changes by the previously stated deadline (i.e. December 9).

Apple plans to appeal Rogers' decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena, California. The company believes it is not obligated to make any further "business changes" until the case is finally resolved.

  1. Epic Games - official homepage
  2. Apple - official homepage
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