Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers handed down a decision in the Epic Games v. Apple trial on Friday. Rogers issued an injunction that said that Apple will no longer be allowed to prohibit developers from providing links or other communications that direct users away from Apple in-app purchasing. Her ruling could cost Apple a couple billion dollars per year.
In a ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said the company must allow all developers to bypass its commission on in-app purchases — a cut that runs as high as 30%. That includes letting iOS apps use “buttons, external links or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing methods” other than Apple’s payment system.
It’s a blow to Apple, but one that the world’s most valuable company can likely absorb. And Apple dodged an even bigger risk — that the judge might determine that it was a monopolist under either federal or state laws.
Apple’s commissions from the App Store generated an estimated $6.3 billion last year in the U.S. — with most of it coming from in-app purchases and subscriptions. That money is what’s at stake as games and other apps prepare to steer consumers away from Apple’s payment system.
Apple said that it’s still too early to determine how or when exactly the changes will be implemented and that it needs to have conversations with the judge. It also said that it would engage in ongoing dialogue with developers about the changes.
But even if the ruling ends up costing Apple a few billion dollars a year, that’s still a small fraction of its total revenue. In fiscal 2021 alone, the company is estimated to bring in more than $360 billion, meaning the change won’t make or break its overall financial performance. Some developers may also choose to stick to Apple’s payment system so they don’t have to build their own web payment platform.
MacDailyNews Take: For the sake of security, many App Store users will also continue to use Apple’s in-app payment systems rather than submit their financial information to third-party payment systems from a relatively few developers.