Epic Games is appealing last week’s ruling in its case against Apple, saying the decision that makes Apple have to allow third-party payment options for apps doesn’t go far enough. When Epic’s Tim Sweeney promised to “fight on”, this seems to be what he meant.
The decision was seen as a possible precursor to change, but many seemed to call it a mixed result that neither company really won. Apple has to be more open, yes, and this will create some changes and options for developers, but the part of the case that went in Apple’s favor was significant on its own, and still led to a massive financial win too. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers found that Apple was not engaging in the activities that would qualify it as a monopoly. This conclusion came when the judge narrowed the scope to only “digital mobile gaming transactions”. Even as Apple was barred from banning links to third party payment options, the result of not finding that there was a monopoly involved in the blocking of these options, the judge still held Epic responsible for payment of the contractual 30% cut of earnings from inclusion of its own payment option before Apple yanked Fortnite from the App Store.
According to analysis from TechCrunch, appealing the court’s decision may not change Epic’s situation specifically or even declare Apple a monopoly in terms of legally being for violating antitrust laws. Epic could still be on the hook for around $3.6 million, but a more favorable and clearer decision in the appeal could create more specific terms for Apple’s compliance with allowing app developers to link to third party payment options. There still may be change on the horizon, but it seems that another legal push may be what it takes to get there. Until then, Apple is expected to announce just how it will implement the order to allow for third-party payment links.