Apple has amended its App Store regulations to allow developers to contact consumers directly about purchases, as part of a judicial settlement with firms contesting the company's strict control. Developers may now contact customers directly about other payment options, skipping Apple's 15 or 30% fee, according to the new App Store guidelines. "As long as this request remains voluntary," the iPhone manufacturer noted, they will be able to ask consumers for basic information like names and e-mail addresses.
A judge ordered Apple to lessen its grip on its App Store payment alternatives in September, but Epic was unable to show that antitrust breaches had occurred. The option to divert customers to an out-of-app payment mechanism isn't enough for Epic and others; they want gamers to be able to pay without leaving the game. Both parties have filed appeals. Apple is also being investigated by US and European authorities for allegedly exploiting its market dominance.
Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, has spoken out against Apple's efforts to put antitrust court decisions on hold while an appeals process plays out. In a partial victory for Epic and other app developers, US district Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers knocked down several of Apple's App Store guidelines in September, including a bar on developers referring their customers to alternative payment methods besides Apple's in-app payment system.
Apple has until December 9 to comply with the injunction, but the corporation announced earlier this month that it will appeal the decision and has urged Gonzalez Rogers to put her order on hold while the appeals process, which may take more than a year, takes place. Epic said in a court filing on Friday that Apple has not fulfilled the legal criteria for the halt, which requires Apple to establish that even temporarily complying with the order will cause irreparable harm if the injunction is eventually overturned on appeal.
Epic said that Apple's positive statements regarding the verdict immediately after it was issued, as well as its delay in requesting a pause, demonstrated that the orders would not affect the company. Epic stated, "The public interest favors dismissing (Apple's request); an injunction is the only avenue to effective remedies." "Apple's track record demonstrates that in the absence of a court order, it will not make any modifications." A request for comment from Apple was not immediately returned. Apple's plea will be heard on November 9.