As a reminder, the US courts had ordered the iPhone manufacturer in September to remove from the App Store the rule that prohibits developers from adding in-app links to external payment sites. This Wednesday, the appeals court accepted Apple’s request to suspend this injunction pending the conclusion of the trial.
The appellate court justified its decision by explaining that Apple had demonstrated the merits of its appeal, also challenging the previous court decision: for the court, Apple’s behavior would not violate any antitrust laws, but the California Unfair Competition Law.
The September injunction was part of a broader ruling, largely in favor of Apple. This mixed trial is currently on hold, as both Apple and Epic Games have appealed the ruling.
Apple last month requested that the injunction be suspended, arguing that it would cause irreparable harm to its company and its customers. Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers later rejected this request, not convinced of the merits of these claims. Apple then appealed this denial, bringing the case to another US appellate court.
The appeals court’s decision comes at the right time for Apple, as the injunction was due to take effect today.
A long fight
It is important to note that the precautionary measure decided by Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers has not been canceled. Its application is simply suspended, until an appeals court finally decides whether the sentence handed down in September should remain in force.
The legal dispute between the two companies began last year, when Fortnite was kicked out of the Apple and Google app stores for introducing a new payment system that bypassed technology giants’ payment systems and buying commissions. Shortly after being ousted, Epic Games filed antitrust lawsuits against Apple and Google in various countries around the world.
Through these various lawsuits, publisher Epic Games accuses the tech giants of engaging in anti-competitive and monopolistic practices, notably because of their 30% commission structures.
The fight is long, so this case will be the subject of a new round of hearings. Game publisher apps have been removed from the App Store for over 15 months.
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