Developers may soon be able to offer links enabling payments outside Apple’s App Store.
A United States appeals court upheld an earlier ruling in a case that said Apple can no longer prohibit such links, which developers want to use to avoid paying sales commissions to the tech giant, Reuters reported Monday (April 24).
The appeals court sided with Apple on nine other matters, however, including agreeing with an earlier ruling that Apple hasn’t violated antitrust laws.
These decisions were the latest in a case brought against Apple by Epic Games.
In a thread on Twitter, Epic Games Founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said that Apple prevailed at the appeals court with the finding that Epic didn’t prove its antitrust case.
“Fortunately, the court’s positive decision rejecting Apple’s anti-steering provisions frees iOS developers to send consumers to the web to do business with them directly there,” Sweeney added in the thread. “We’re working on next steps.”
Apple did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment.
In a statement provided to Reuters, Apple said: “For the second time in two years, a federal court has ruled that Apple abides by antitrust laws at the state and federal levels. We respectfully disagree with the court’s ruling on the one remaining claim under state law and are considering further review.”
The legal war between Apple and Epic stretches back to 2020, when Apple removed the Epic game Fortnite from the App Store after Epic created a workaround to avoid paying the 30% fee on customers’ in-app purchases.
The case went to trial in May 2021, with the companies fighting over the App Store policies and whether Apple hinders competition.
At the appeals court, Epic sought to overturn a ruling that rejected much of its antitrust case against Apple’s App Store, saying the lower court judge had “erred” when determining the App Store’s results and restrictions didn’t violate antitrust law.
Following the ruling announced Monday regarding links to payments outside the App Store, Apple said it may appeal the decision. It has 14 days to file such an appeal, according to the Reuters report.