At a digital hearing earlier today, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers refused Apple’s plea to defer the execution of a permanent order requiring Apple to make substantial App Store modifications
As part of the ruling in the Apple v. Epic litigation, Judge Gonzalez Rogers ordered Apple to enable developers to include connections to external websites within their apps, paving the way for alternate payment methods that do not require developers to use the in-app purchase system.
Apple was granted 90 days to execute the changes in the initial judgement. Apple requested additional time in October, and the Cupertino corporation eventually desired to delay the implementation of any new App Store features unless all appeals in the Epic v. Apple dispute were resolved.
Apple’s plea was denied, and the judge has given Apple no further time to implement the necessary App Store features, which means that adjustments must be made by December 9. According to the initial ruling’s language, Apple will be prohibited from prohibiting developers from inserting “buttons, external links, or other calls-to- action that guide clients to purchasing mechanisms” in their apps and metadata.
According to Judge Gonzalez Rogers, Apple requested an “open-ended stay with no compulsion to comply” and that there are “many routes” for Apple to abide by the order while protecting customers.
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.
Additionally, Gonzalez Rogers stated that app creators should have the option of using the in-app payment system or another. “The public interest requires consumer knowledge, transparency, and choice,” she wrote.