Apple opposes links to external payments ahead of Epic Games hearing


The 3D printed Lady Justice figure is seen in front of the Apple and Epic Games logos shown in this illustration photo taken on February 17, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File Photo

Oct. 29 (Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) on Friday presented objections to allowing app developers to log into third-party payment options before a hearing next month that could determine whether a set of antitrust court orders is suspended. .

After a lengthy lawsuit filed earlier this year by the creator of “Fortnite” Epic Games, United States District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has ruled broadly in favor of the iPhone maker and upheld its practice. to require developers to use its integrated payment system. for which he charges commissions.

But Gonzalez Rogers expressed concern that consumers did not have access to information about alternative ways to pay for apps. She ordered Apple to end its ban on “buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms” beyond Apple’s own payment systems.

Apple has until Dec. 9 to implement the order, but the company has appealed the decision and requested that the order be stayed while the appeal unfolds, which could take a year or more. A hearing on the request is set for November 9.

Apple first reported on Friday that its strongest objections were to authorization requirements for buttons and links that provide a “mechanism” for external payments. The filing provided the first suggestion that Apple is less strongly opposed to allowing developers to provide information on other means of paying.

The company said the links and buttons hamper its ability to force developers to use its Integrated Payments (IAPs), which the court confirmed.

“The restrictions on connection are inextricably linked with Apple’s requirement that developers use IAP for digital content purchases – a requirement this court has examined in detail and upheld against Epic’s challenge,” said Apple.

Apple raised fewer objections to in-app messages regarding other forms of payment, but said it might want to “limit their placement, format or content” and judge orders such as they are currently being drafted would not allow him to do so without facing further legal action. challenges.

Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler

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