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Breakdown of Divisional Judgment: NPR

A federal judge on Friday ordered Apple to relax some of the App Store’s rules on how payments are processed.

Patrick Semanski / AP


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Patrick Semanski / AP

A federal judge on Friday ordered Apple to relax some of the App Store’s rules on how payments are processed.

Patrick Semanski / AP

A federal judge on Friday ruled long-awaited in a court battle over the App Store policy between Fortnite maker Epic Games and Apple.

Both are using Judgment on page 185 The complexity of the details allows you to prove your position.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the US District Court said Apple violated the law by forcing payments for apps and in-app items through the App Store. Usually, 30% of the payment is paid as a commission. Gonzales Rogers told Apple to ease within 90 days. It’s an epic victory.

However, Gonzales Rogers endorsed the overall structure of the App Store as legal. She said Apple doesn’t have an illegal monopoly on how developers handle mobile game payments. It’s a victory for Apple.

“This is a split decision,” said Mark Lemley, a professor at Stanford Law School, who studies antitrust issues and technology. “It will improve the competition at the edge, but it is not the fundamental change that epic and antitrust proponents would have hoped for.”

all right. But what does this mean for people who buy apps for the iPhone and iPad?

So, for example, if you buy a Spotify subscription on your iPhone or buy a cool new outfit for Avatar on the mobile version of Roblox, you’ll get the option to pay through Spotify or Roblox’s own system.

Apple has long banned app developers from offering these alternative payment methods.Gonzales Rogers Domination Apple was hiding information from consumers and limiting their options. This is prohibited by California competition law.

So does this make apps and in-app items cheaper?

done. If Epic violated Apple’s rules and allowed people to buy Fortnite credits through its own system, a 30% discount was offered because Apple’s levy wasn’t involved.

If developers are forced to use Apple’s payment system and avoid a 30% commission, they can lower their prices. Or they can put their savings in their pockets.

Are there any visible changes to the apps downloaded from the App Store?

Maybe. For example, some of your favorite apps may display a new button that allows you to purchase things through the developer’s own payment system. Alternatively, there may be a link in the app that tells the customer to complete the payment in their browser. Whatever it looks like, Apple no longer manages what critics call a “tollhouse” on the App Store alone.

The appeal process is likely to cause delays, so don’t expect changes to happen immediately.

Will Apple’s 30% commission be gone?

Only if Apple chooses to make that change.Epic Games Consideration Apple has made most purchases “exorbitant” and is abusing its market power. The judge did not buy this completely.

Yvonne-Gonzalez was skeptical of the 30% charge during the trial and wrote in a ruling that “30% is not tied to anything and can be changed”, but Apple will do so. Did not order.

She chose to target Apple (and Google) over prices, while Nintendo’s Switch, Microsoft’s Xbox, and Sony’s PlayStation all impose similar cuts in game sales. Said.

“Under antitrust law, you can’t complain that prices are too high,” said Remley of Stanford University. “We have to show that certain actions are hindering competition.”

Another case filed by Epic against Google will be brought to court this year.

So why is this so damaging to Apple?

Apple’s App Store and what critics call the “Apple Tax” are just one aspect of the tech giant’s empire. However, in recent years, developers have become increasingly dissatisfied with feeling abused and making live transactions on the App Store.Korea Recently banned Apple and Google have stopped forcing developers to use their payment system.Congress Introduced law Suppress the strict App Store rules of tech giants.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’ decision in the US District Court on Friday could bring about the most significant change to date in the multi-billion dollar mobile economy. She didn’t go as much as Epic Games wanted, but she still dented the powerful fortress that Apple built and maintained on how to distribute apps on iPhones and iPads.

“Apple has passed Big Tech’s antitrust scrutiny over the past few years, but says it won’t continue,” Remley said. “Apple’s control over phone content and pricing can be difficult for Apple to maintain,” he said.

Both Apple and Epic Games are claiming victory, and both may appeal to the decision. teeth?

Apple is expected to fight Gonzales Rogers’ decision to violate the law by blocking another payment method known as the “steering prevention clause.” Have you ever noticed why Netflix visits a website to sign up for an iPhone or iPad subscription? This is the reason. I wanted to avoid Apple’s taxes.

Epic was dissatisfied with the judge’s decision that Apple was not an illegal monopoly because of the presence of competitors in the definition of the “related market,” the world of $ 100 billion in digital gaming transactions.

In the case of antitrust law, the term “related market” is important. It’s legal: are we talking about the exact part of the economy?

Gonzales Rogers said the battle wasn’t about how digital video games were distributed, as Epic claimed, but about how digital video game payments were processed. And Apple isn’t monopolized, as judges said it was fierce in the market, including games other than the iPhone and iPad. Epic is expected to try to convince the Court of Appeals that the judge made a mistake.

“The Court of Appeals can look at the definition of the market and say’wait a minute’,” Lemley said. “And if that part is overturned, Apple could turn out to be the monopoly.”

Price tag to challenge the management of the App Store

When Epic introduced Fortnite’s own payment system, broke the rules of the App Store and effectively demanded that Apple get rid of it, the judge decided that it had violated Apple’s contract.

During this time, Epic has generated over $ 12 million in revenue. None of it went to Apple. So now the judge said Epic owes 30% of that amount to Apple according to the terms of the contract.

Epic not only turned Apple’s launch from the App Store into a proceeding, but also a promotional stunt named “Project Liberty” with a #FreeFortnite hashtag and a video mocking the famous Apple ad in 1984. ..

Unless amended by the Court of Appeals, Friday’s ruling means that the cost of the PR Crusaders to Apple has increased by just $ 3 million.

Editor’s Note: Apple is one of NPR’s financial backers.

Breakdown of Divisional Judgment: NPR

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