Back in September, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers came to a decision regarding the lawsuit against Apple brought by Epic Games. The latter wants change when it comes to the former’s digital storefront, the App Store, and, by all accounts, earned itself a pretty big win in that regard. However, the judge’s ruling also included many wins for Apple, too — but the company has decided to appeal anyway.
In the afternoon yesterday, Apple filed a notice of appeal seeking a stay of the injunction that would allow developers to add third-party payment sources in their apps. If this comes to pass (like it has in South Korea), it means developers will not have to solely rely on Apple’s own payment system. That’s obviously not a future Apple wants, or a present for that matter, so the appeal isn’t a huge surprise.
However, it’s not a done deal. While the notice of appeal has been filed, it’s not approved. However, if the appeal is successful it means that any changes to the App Store will be delayed, and, as noted by CNBC, that means it could take years before they are implemented at all. If they are implemented at all, depending on how the appeal process goes.
The original ruling was set to go into effect on December 9, 2021. A new judge will oversee the appeal process in November, though.
As a reminder, when the initial ruling was handed down, Apple said it was a big victory for the company:
Today the Court has affirmed what we’ve known all along: the App Store is not in violation of antitrust law. As the Court recognized ‘success is not illegal.’ Apple faces rigorous competition in every segment in which we do business, and we believe customers and developers choose us because our products and services are the best in the world. We remain committed to ensuring the App Store is a safe and trusted marketplace that supports a thriving developer community and more than 2.1 million U.S. jobs, and where rules apply equally to everyone.
Now, Apple is okay with some changes. In August the company came to a settlement with developers in the United States to bring some alterations to the digital storefront. Namely, Apple has agreed that apps designated as “Reader” apps (the apps that offer subscriptions to things like magazines, music, books, audio, newspapers, and more) can put a link in the app that redirects users to an outside payment option. Among some other changes. However, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers’s ruling means Apple has to make this a possibility for all apps.
Whether or not that actually comes to fruition, though, remains to be seen.