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TECH RUMBLE: US Court Rules Apple Must Allow For App Payments Outside Its App Store

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A United States federal court has stopped apple from interfering with developers who wish to take payments outside its App Store, which is one of Apple’s biggest moneymakers.

In the ruling, filed in the U.S. District Court in Northern California, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said Apple will not be allowed to prevent “developers from including in their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing.” The injunction will take effect in 90 days.

Apple takes a cut of up to 30% of in-app purchases and has banned developers from directing buyers to external payment platforms, the development that angered Epic Games which are the makers of Fortnite, a game played by 400 million people.

Fortnite was removed from Apple’s App Store for deliberately launching its own payment system and that prompted the owner to take Apple to court.

On Friday, the judge said that Apple was within its rights to boot out “Fortnite,” and ruled that Epic was in breach of its contract and ordered the company to pay damages of $3.7 million, that’s 30% of the revenue collected while violating Apple’s Commissions. Apple has insisted its fees are fair, given its investment in the iPhone which it calls a niche product, even though more than a billion people now have one.

The court verdict has been projected to likely spark substantial changes to the App Store business model.

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