Apple Gets Supreme Court Win Over App Store Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed Apple to maintain its App Store payment protocols, overruling a request by Epic Games which sought to let app developers direct iPhone users to outside payment methods.

Justice Elena Kagan declined to let a prior decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals take immediate effect. This previous ruling stated Apple had overstepped California’s Unfair Competition Law by restricting app developers from communicating about other payment options, such as those through the Epic Games Store, reports Bloomberg.

This decision grants Apple a break from the appeals court’s ruling, potentially a short-lived one. If the Supreme Court chooses not to review the case, the appeals court’s verdict will come into play.

Epic Games, the creators of the widely recognized game Fortnite, argued that the appeals court utilized an incorrect legal criterion for its stay order.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has long fought against Apple’s App Store policies, especially in regards to Fortnite. Recently he said, “Musk-Cook discussion on 30% Apple Tax incoming. My view is, rather than signing special deals, Apple should outright stop blocking or taxing competing payment methods and competing stores. Then we’d have a free market as exists in all other areas of the American economy.”

Apple’s justification to the Supreme Court for maintaining the current payment rules was that Epic hasn’t been impacted by the disputed policy. The conflict began when Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic introduced a method to bypass Apple’s 30% fee on in-app purchases. Despite this, Epic maintains that its other apps remain in the App Store.

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