court rules that apple can't push back ordered app store payment changes

Nikada via Getty Images

Apple has failed to convince US District c to delay the App Store change she ordered back in September. As the judge for the Apple vs. Epic trial, Rogers ruled in favor of the tech giant for 9 out of 10 counts, but she also decided that Apple must allow developers to direct users to other payment systems within their apps by December 9th. As a response to that, Apple asked for a stay on the injunction to push back its implementation by one more year. Now, Rogers has rejected the company’s appeal for a stay and called the motion “fundamentally flawed.”

She wrote in the order (PDF, via CNBC):

“…Apple’s motion is based on a selective reading of this Court’s findings and ignores all of the findings which supported the injunction, namely incipient antitrust conduct including supercompetitive commission rates resulting in extraordinarily high operating margins and which have not been correlated to the value of its intellectual property.”

Apple argued that it needed more time to establish new guidelines to protect users, developers and itself if it allows alternative payment methods. It also previously said that following the court order and allowing developers to link out to other payment methods by December 9th “would be a poor use of resources” due to the “near-inevitable litigation” from Epic regarding the scope of its compliance. In addition, it’s still appealing this aspect of the case, and the Court of Appeals could take more than a year to come to a decision.

In her ruling, Rogers said that the party that would benefit most from a stay would be Apple, and that the court can “envision numerous avenues” for the tech giant to comply while still protecting its users. “Other than, perhaps, needing time to establish Guidelines, Apple has provided no credible reason for the Court to believe that the injunction would cause the professed devastation,” she added.

As CNBC has noted, though, allowing developers to link out to external payment methods doesn’t mean Apple won’t be taking a percentage of their earnings. Google, for instance, recently announced that it will now allow the use of alternative payment systems for Play Store apps in South Korea to comply with local laws. While it lowered its commission by four percent for developers using their own payment processors, they will still have to pay the company a cut nonetheless.

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