Epic x Apple: Verdict Is Good For Apple, But Forces Change on iOS

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Epic x Apple: After three months of waiting, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers published the verdict of the trial between Epic Games and Apple. The apple company came out with a positive result, but Epic was not left empty-handed.

The decision forces Apple to make a radical change to the policies of its online stores, which is beneficial to the rival and other developers. However, the company responsible for Fortnite failed to achieve its main goals and not even guaranteed the return of the game to platforms.

The full document (in English) can be found here. Google also has a similar process going on.

What did Epic Games win?

One of Epic Games‘ original allegations involved the inability to provide payment methods on iOS outside of the App Store’s own system. Thus, Apple would always receive subscriptions and microtransactions within its ecosystem, which implies charging a fee that can reach 30% on any negotiation between the brand and consumers.

From now on, Apple will have 90 days to change this. According to the verdict, the company will have to allow the inclusion of links in applications and messages that indicate the existence of alternative means of payment.

As part of an investigation in Japan, it had already announced something similar last week — but only valid for a few subscription-based apps. With the decision, the change will become more comprehensive.

what Apple gained

Overall, Apple walked away with the most wins. Accusations that the App Store is a monopoly and that the platform harms potential competitors with anti-competitive market practices were rejected. The arguments presented by Epic Games were considered insufficient by the court.

In addition, Epic Games was convicted of breach of contract: the reason that Fortnite was banned and caused the lawsuit was a “gambiarra” by the developer, which circumvented the rules of the App Store and provided alternative means of payment without first looking for the legal means to claim the case.

As part of the breach of contract, Epic Games will also have to pay the 30% mandatory platform fee for revenue generated in Fortnite. The company will have to compensate Apple for both the period the alternative medium was provided for iOS and between November 2020 and April 2021 — during the course of the case. The value of the first period alone is around US$ 3.5 million.

In addition, Fortnite’s return to Apple’s platforms is optional, and the decision must be made by Apple itself. In a statement, the company celebrated the result for evidence that the App Store environment is “safe and legal”.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney commented on his Twitter profile that the decision “is not a win for developers or consumers” and that the company is fighting for fair competition between payment methods and app stores.

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