Judge, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has denied Apple’s request to delay moves that would require it to make big App Store changes. The judgment was the result of the Apple vs. Epic lawsuit.
Apple is now required to allow developers to put in-app links to websites that would potentially offer services and more at competing prices to those that would be available via Apple’s App Store in-app purchase system.
Apple was previously given 90 days to make the changes, but the company requested that be delayed. It’s now been told that isn’t the case, with the judge saying that Apple wanted “an open-ended stay with no requirement that it make an effort to comply.”
That was unlikely to happen, of course.
The Court can envision numerous avenues for Apple to comply with the injunction and yet take steps to protect users, to the extent that Apple genuinely believes that external links would create issues. The Court is not convinced, but nor is it here to micromanage. Consumers are quite used to linking from an app to a web browser. 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. Links can be tested by App Review. Users can open browsers and retype links to the same effect; it is merely inconvenient, which then, only works to the advantage of Apple.
Apple has already told The Verge that it intends to appeal to the Ninth Circuit for a stay, so this story is far from over. Expect more legal wranglings in a case that might not make all that much real difference to the way apps are sold in the App Store anyway.
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