Judge orders Apple to allow external payment options for App Store by December 9th, denying stay
Epic v. Apple judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers says Apple must comply with an order to let developers add links and buttons to external payment options, denying the company's motion for a stay. "Apple's motion is based on a selective reading of this Court's findings and ignores all of the findings which supported the injunction," her new order reads.
Judge Gonzalez Rogers issued her order after a Tuesday hearing concerning the blockbuster antitrust lawsuit, which Fortnite publisher Epic Games filed in 2020 and which went to trial this year. During the hearing, Apple said it needed more time to rewrite its anti-steering policies — rules that bar app developers from linking to payment methods besides the iOS App Store.
“This will be the first time Apple has ever allowed live links in an app for digital content. It's going to take months to figure out the engineering, economic, business, and other issues,” said Apple attorney Mark Perry. “It is exceedingly complicated. There have to be guardrails and guidelines to protect children, to protect developers, to protect consumers, to protect Apple. And they have to be written into guidelines that can be explained and enforced and applied.”
Apple says it plans to appeal to the Ninth Circuit for a stay, since it didn't get one from Judge Gonzalez Rogers. "Apple believes no additional business changes should be required to take effect until all appeals in this case are resolved. We intend to ask the Ninth Circuit for a stay based on these circumstances," writes an Apple spokesperson.
Apple arguing the need the time for “substantial engineering” to allow people to start adding buttons and links to outside payment methods hasn't really been their best argument either.