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Apple asks Supreme Court to overturn ruling in ‘Fortnite’ case

Published Jul 4th, 2023 10:56AM EDT
Image: Epic Games

Three years after Epic Games sued Apple due to its App Store’s in-app payment policies, the Cupertino firm will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an order to let developers provide links and buttons that point to payment options outside Apple’s ecosystem.

According to Reuters, Apple said in a court filing it will “ask the justices to take up its appeal of a ruling on Friday by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that kept in place most of the order issued in 2021 by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers.”

While Judge Rogers ruled in Apple’s favor, she said the Cupertino firm couldn’t prohibit developers from providing links or buttons to let customers know they can purchase an app elsewhere. That said, having the Supreme Court decide that would give Apple more time to comply with this order, but at the same time, this would be a final decision, as neither company would be able to appeal again.

The Epic Games vs. Apple case is one of the weirdest between big techs. Epic’s CEO started a crusade to ensure developers don’t need to pay Apple’s 30% tax for purchases made in the App Store. Still, it was only because the Cupertino firm didn’t offer his company a deal to pay a smaller fee for in-app purchases on Fortnite.

While Epic could again see a ruling in Apple’s favor, at least the Cupertino firm made important changes during these past three years. For example, it diminished the fee it holds after a year a user is subscribed to an app, it also now charges 15% for developers that make less than $1 million per year, Apple made a program to help small developers to grow, and some app’s categories, such as the ones Netflix and Spotify are part, can charge for a subscription outside the App Store – although they can’t promote that users need to subscribe on their website.

Basically, Apple says users are safer inside the company’s ecosystem, and even though BGR has reported some scam apps available in the App Store, the Cupertino firm thinks they are better adding their payment options with Apple rather than being charged elsewhere. In addition, depending on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, this could mean that Apple could eventually let users sideload apps and offer third-party app stores or third-party payment options – which is something the company will probably have to do in Europe.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.

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