Apple wants out of the only part of Epic it lost

Changing its rules too quickly, Apple argued, “would upset the careful balance between developers and customers provided by the App Store…”

From Kellen Browning’s “Apple Appeals App Store Ruling in Fight With Epic Games” posted Saturday by the New York Times:

Apple asked a federal appeals court on Friday to throw out a legal decision that would require the tech giant to tweak its strict App Store rules and force it to allow app developers to inform customers of ways to pay for subscriptions and services outside the App Store.

The September verdict followed a yearlong legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, the maker of the game Fortnite. Apple also asked a judge to delay the ruling mandating App Store changes until after the appeal is heard.

Changing its rules too quickly, Apple argued, “would upset the careful balance between developers and customers provided by the App Store, and would irreparably harm both Apple and consumers.”

My take: “Careful balance” is rich. Apple is made of sturdier stuff than that.

5 Comments

  1. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    I fully understand Apple’s position. First, the federal court ruling on notice of alternate payment methods was based on California law and not Federal law. Second, and for example, how does Apple prepare through policies and systems to accommodate payment flow outside the company’s systems for apps that are offered for “free” but allow for in-app purchases? In my view, it’s not fair for Apple to be asked to carry apps in the App Store that are offered at no initial cost to the consumer and payment flow moved out of its distribution systems. 90 days is not a sufficient amount of time for Apple to adequately address all of the issues involved. In varying degrees, developers find success in the App Store primarily or solely because Apple created an avenue for access to its customers.

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    October 9, 2021
  2. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    First and foremost, I view myself as an Apple customer. What are the security and privacy policies of the vendors that might offer alternative payment methods outside of Apple’s systems? Would these developers be obligated to follow Apple’s strict protections or are my privacy rights, now expected as an Apple customer, be open to violation by 3rd-party vendors? What are the security systems involved for payments through 3rd-party vendors? Will these policies vary by developer or payment platform? It’s these kinds of questions that I want answered before making payments through a non-Apple distribution system. Will Apple be allowed to insist on strict privacy and security standards on behalf of the company’s customers? These are questions that can not possibly be adequately addressed in a very short period of time.

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    October 9, 2021
  3. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    @ Robert Paul Leitao —

    “In my view, it’s not fair for Apple to be asked to carry apps in the App Store that are offered at no initial cost to the consumer and payment flow moved out of its distribution systems.”

    I’ve pondered the same thing too and have commented on such multiple times here on Apple 3.0. Additionally, with all the comments and speculations bantered about surrounding this case, I’ve read very little clarification on how this will be accomplished.

    Your comment, “…developers find success in the App Store primarily or solely because Apple created an avenue for access to its customers.” has sadly become a forlorn and forgotten cornerstone truth in this whole inside-out matter.

    That this “avenue for access” could potentially be stripped of any respective toll cost could be damaging and, on its face, unfair.

    5
    October 9, 2021
  4. David Emery said:
    I read Apple’s filing. Seems to me (IANAL) that Apple made some strong points about the absence of connection between what the court ordered and the actual impact on Epic. That’s probably stronger fodder for appeal. Since this is addressed to the trial court, it’s in essence asking that judge to rule that she was wrong the first time.

    The really interesting legal arguments will be in the briefs filed for the appeal, and I don’t know when those are scheduled to be filed.

    1
    October 9, 2021
  5. Greg Lippert said:
    If an app is planning to use use an outside payment system, Apple should charge a hefty annual dev license. Shouldn’t they be compensated for the hosting, security, app review, etc?

    2
    October 10, 2021

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