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Apple Objects to ‘Mechanism’ For Outside Payments in Apps in Its App Store

As the next step in the court battle between Apple and Epic Games nears, Apple on Friday (Oct. 29) signaled that its strongest objection to an antitrust court’s ruling is that it requires the company to allow buttons and links that provide a “mechanism” for outside payments, Reuters reported. 

Following a trial earlier this year, the court’s ruling upheld Apple’s requirement that app developers use its in-app payment system. Still, it also ordered Apple to end its ban on calls to action that direct customers to third-party payment systems, according to the report. 

Apple appealed the ruling and asked that the order be placed on hold until the appeal had run its course. A hearing on that request is to be held on Nov. 9, the report noted. 

Apple’s filing came ahead of that hearing. The company said links and buttons harm its ability to require developers to use its in-app payments, which the court upheld. 

Read more: Apple Appeals Ruling in Antitrust Case Brought by Fortnite Creator 

The legal challenge began with Epic suing Apple in August 2020 when Apple took Epic’s Fortnite game off the App Store after the game developer found a workaround that kept Apple from collecting a commission on purchases. 

After the trial, Apple announced Oct. 8 that it was appealing the court’s ruling. For its part, Epic had already announced that it was appealing the judge’s finding that Apple has not violated antitrust law through its payment rules. 

In the meantime, as the court battle continues, Apple has banned Fortnite from the App Store. 

In a letter to Epic’s lawyers, sent after Epic asked that its developer account on the App Store be reinstated, Apple’s legal representatives said Apple, “will not consider any further requests for reinstatement until the district court’s judgment becomes final and non-appealable.” 

The appeals process could take five years, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said on Twitter. 

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