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A district court has allowed Apple to delay the implementation of the appeals court ruling, which will push the company to drop its App Store “anti-steering” rules. The motion will let Apple wait first for the decision of the Supreme Court for its appeal against Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’ ruling in the case filed by Epic Games. (via The Verge)

In case pushed, the ruling will allow developers to offer users links to other payment options outside the App Store. This ruling favors the lawsuit filed by Epic after Apple blocked Fortnite from App Store when a web link was introduced in the app’s in-game payment. The link could have let users save a little compared to using Apple’s payment system, where Apple takes a commission for purchases.

Now, Apple can wait for the Supreme Court’s decision on its appeal before observing the ruling introduced by Judge Rogers. Ninth Circuit Judge Milan D. Smith Jr. granted the Cupertino company’s request. Nonetheless, the judge writes that “…while the arguments in Apple’s motion may not be technically frivolous, they ignore key aspects of the panel’s reasoning and key factual findings by the district court. When our reasoning and the district court’s findings are considered, Apple’s arguments cannot withstand even the slightest scrutiny. Apple’s standing and scope-of-the-injunction arguments simply masquerade its disagreement with the district court’s findings and objection to state-law liability as contentions of legal error.”

The appeals court ruling that is now on hold could benefit developers and customers, but it will significantly affect Apple’s App Store business. Unfortunately for Apple, this seems to be inevitable in the future. Different regulators are now pushing the company to embrace app sideloading and changes in the App Store payment policies. Aside from European Union, Japan also recently drafted a set of regulations explaining the need to allow iOS (and Android) users to download third-party apps outside the App Store. The regulations also aim to stop companies from pushing their own systems to users as sole payment options.


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