Judge Orders Apple to Link to External Payment Options on the App Store by December 9

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 10 Nov 2021

Apple won the trial against Epic Games for breaching the App Store rules. Still, judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that the company must allow developers to add links and buttons for external IAP options in their iOS apps. Apple was ordered to comply with the court rules within 90 days of the judgment being passed. However, the company requested a stay on the injunction as it wanted more time to figure out how to comply with the ruling and until all pending cases in the Epic lawsuit were finished.

However, Apple’s request has been denied by Judge Gonzalez, and the company has not been provided with any additional time to comply with the order as well. This means Apple has until December 9 to figure out how to allow developers to show external links and buttons. Apple argued that if it is forced to implement the changes, it will “upset the platform” and harm consumers and developers.

Epic attorney Gary Bornstein during the hearing, said that this was just Apple’s strategy to delay the changes and that “Apple does nothing unless it is forced to do it.”

Judge Gonzalez came down harshly on Apple’s request, saying it has not just asked for additional time. Instead, it wants an injunction, “which would effectively take years. You asked for an across-the-board stay which could take 3, 4, 5 years.” Apple’s lawyers argued that they wanted to delay the changes until the case was resolved and that they were confident of winning the appeal.

That didn’t sway the judge: in her order Tuesday evening, she accused Apple of wanting “an open-ended stay with no requirement that it make any effort to comply,” and suggested that “Apple has provided no credible reason for the Court to believe that the injunction would cause the professed devastation,” with regards to the company’s argument that it would be harmed by adding external links to alternate payment systems within apps.

Apple plans to appeal against today’s ruling to the Ninth Circuit. Below is what an Apple spokesperson said:

“Apple believes no additional business changes should be required to take effect until all appeals in this case are resolved. We intend to ask the Ninth Circuit for a stay based on these circumstances.”

Barring a stay, Apple has about a month to implement the changes on the App Store and allow developers to link to external websites for alternative IAPs.

[Via The Verge]