Apple is appealing its lawsuit win against Epic Games and Fortnite
The Apple vs Epic lawsuit needs no introduction at this point. Last month, the lawsuit had reached a dramatic conclusion, with the judge deciding to award a result that wasn’t exactly what the two parties wanted. Instead, several key decisions came out in Apple’s favor, except for one. Apple even went on record to call the ruling a “resounding victory”. And now, Apple is appealing against this very same resounding victory.
According to The Verge, Apple has filed an appeal asking for a stay to the Apple vs Epic Games lawsuit’s results from taking effect. Essentially, the company wants to not be forced into implementing the new anti-steering rules, arguing that it “will allow Apple to protect consumers and safeguard its platform while the company works through the complex and rapidly evolving legal, technological, and economic issues“.
The lawsuit results had largely sided with Apple, except for one key decision. The judge had asked Apple to lift its restrictions on iOS apps and App Store pages providing buttons, external links, and other “calls to action” that direct consumers to other purchasing mechanisms. This is a big change from Apple’s anti-steering policy that prevents app developers from informing and directing users to alternative purchasing methods. Before the judgment, Apple had itself partially lifted the anti-steering policy, but now Apple states that it has deleted the offending sections of the App Store Guidelines entirely, which is news.
Apple further argues in the appeal that if it opened up the App Store in the ways that the decision asked for, then the company wouldn’t be able to protect its users from fraud. The appeal even goes on to cite the recent example of Paddle, alternative in-app purchase system on iOS, and points out that Paddle advertises access to customer data such as email addresses as a pro for businesses, in stark contrast to the rules that Apple follows for user privacy.
Note that Apple’s appeal has not been granted yet, and a stay would need to be granted. Until then, the appeal confirms several points that were open for interpretation. For one, even Apple sees a button as a button.