Last Friday, a US judge ruled that Apple must allow third-party payment systems in apps from the App Store. But the lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games is not over.
Lawsuit Apple vs. epic
The case between Epic Games and Apple has received a lot of attention from the start. Epic, the creator of the wildly popular game Fortnite, tried to implement its own payment system in the App Store version of Fortnite in August 2020. This move went against Apple’s policy, which only allows payments through Apple’s own payment system with a 15% to 30% ‘Apple tax’. Fortnite was therefore removed from the App Store. Epic then filed a lawsuit against Apple to force a change in this policy.
Now the court has ruled that Apple must allow the use of third-party payment systems in apps from the App Store. Although at first glance this seems like a positive result for Epic Games, there are several caveats: Fortnite may continue to be banned from the App Store, and developers may only link to other payment systems. They may therefore not be implemented in the app itself.
Epic Games is not satisfied with the ruling, and is therefore appealing. For example, the company still wants to achieve that Apple is no longer allowed to ask for ‘Apple tax’ for its own payment system, and that third-party payment systems can still be fully processed in apps.
If Epic succeeds, developers in particular will benefit. It is less beneficial for users. For example, entering your payment details at Apple will no longer be sufficient, and you will have to provide your details to other payment services that may be less secure. In addition, there is a chance that while developers avoid the ‘Apple tax’ and therefore have less costs, the costs of in-app purchases will remain the same so that the developer has more profit. This would not benefit the user.