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Apple must allow other forms of in-app purchases, rules judge in Epic v. Apple

phil_t98

Gold Member
So apple has to allow outside purchases but are within their right to claim commission like sony with cross play? lol not sure this is exactly how epic wanted that to go ;) I wonder how vindictive apple are going to be with the judge ruling in their favour on the breach of contract, will they boot epic's dev account now aswell?

I don’t think it’s in apples interest to block them totally, after all they earning a good pay packet from it to but they could put more restrictions on things. The fact they can claim money from outside purchases is an interesting one , they could say it’s 30% if you use our store but 50% if your using outside payment.

I highly doubt they will do that but it also serves Epic to keep apple sweet to because they earn a lot from in app purchases to
 

MrFunSocks

Banned
So will this cost apple a lot of money?
Won’t cost them a cent most likely. All they’ll do is change their terms and conditions to mean they get a 30% cut off all in app purchases made via in app redirects, and will just do a Sony and say “if this user plays on an iPhone you need to give us a 30% cut of their purchases that they made on other platforms. Nothing epic or other devs can do about it. They pay up or they’re kicked off the App Store.
 

Shane89

Member
Epic wins.
Perfect. That's what a rude company that pretend to be on top the world (when it's really on the bottom) deserve.
 
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hlm666

Member
I don’t think it’s in apples interest to block them totally, after all they earning a good pay packet from it to but they could put more restrictions on things.
Might take a short term hit but in the long run unity would just become the engine all ios devs used? If Jobs was still running the show I think they would do it, no idea how it plays out with the current show runners though.

Epic wins.
Perfect

Ummm errr ok sure.
 

smbu2000

Member
Wow, looks like a pretty big win for Apple here. Not sure why all of these headlines are so misleading.

The contract that developers sign with Apple says that they still must pay Apple a 30% commission (or 15% for small developers/or subscriptions) on IAP whether or not they use Apple's payment processing. This just means that Apple has to get their money directly from the developer instead of taking it out right away like they do when developers use Apple's payment processing.

That's what Epic does when licensing out the Unreal Engine. They are entitled to their 5% commission whether you use Steam or GOG or iOS or Google Play. If you sell something for $10 using Unreal Engine, they take their 5% out of the initial $10 (which would be $0.50), even if the Google Play Store or iOS App Store give you $7 after commission.

edit: If Epic had won, then Tim Sweeney wouldn't already be complaining and saying they are going to Appeal the Decision.
 
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reksveks

Member
Wow, looks like a pretty big win for Apple here. Not sure why all of these headlines are so misleading.

The contract that developers sign with Apple says that they still must pay Apple a 30% commission (or 15% for small developers/or subscriptions) on IAP whether or not they use Apple's payment processing. This just means that Apple has to get their money directly from the developer instead of taking it out right away like they do when developers use Apple's payment processing.

We don't have an updated contract for devs yet.

I am reading and hearing it as devs can know now have a link out to their own store and can highlight it to their customers. Apple is legally entitled to ask for a commission but the ruling doesn't state what it has to be.

The judge calls out the fact the market has no influence on that rate. She also thinks that 30% is too high but doesn't state what it should be.

In the updated policy, Apple could say it is 30% commission of purchases via an in-app referral but I think you will have devs again back at court.
 

MrFunSocks

Banned
This is most certainly NOT a win for Epic.

The Verge gets it right:

I wouldn’t say they got it completely right. Apple can still take their 30% cut even if people buy outside the app via a redirect link (or however devs can do it). They’ll just update their developer terms and there’s nothing the devs can do. Sony already do this on PlayStation. Apple could potentially lose absolutely nothing from this ruling. In fact they could make more money because they just get a cut of all in app purchases bought via external link and don’t have the payment processing fees.
 

reksveks

Member
Why? Sony already do it. If the customer is playing on iOS it’s only fair that they can ask for a commission of funds spent in the game.

Cause those publishers/developers agree to and don't want to Sony to court. Sony is much more important to Epic than Apple. We didn't figure out what that % was on average that Sony were charging for cross platform features.

The judge does I think call out the 30% doesn't represent the work that Apple does and isn't subject to market pressure only legal action. I think she might then interpret a 30% commission as anti-competitive.
 
I think she might then interpret a 30% commission as anti-competitive.
It would take a considerable logical loop-de-loop to consider a commission that is industry-standard at best, and among the highest that any digital storefront in the industry takes at worst, as "anti-competitive", given that it does the opposite of undercutting competition.
 
I still don't know if they actually "won" here. Apple wasn't ruled an monopolist and they still have control over the Apple store.
Sure they can't forbid other forms of payment in iOS apps but i don't think they are forced to publish any software in their store.

Basically, they can still just choose to not have Fortnite in their store anymore if they don't want it. Or at least i think so, i'm no law person or anything.


We need some adjustments to what people think Epic was sueing for. Epic had 10 issues presented against apple, of which Apple was cleared of 9 of them.

" Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers found Apple clear on nine of ten counts but issued an injunction preventing Apple from stopping developers from informing users of other payment systems within apps."

People were saying Epic would not get a ruling to tear down the closed garden, allow separate app stores on apple devices or be found to be a monopoly. So did Epic win? They won 1/10th of their ask, and were found guilty of the counter suit regarding breach of contract, but they did strike a blow against apples ubiquitous control of the app store, so that alone is worth a gold star as many app devs will benefit.

The key things people were claiming this suit could do though? That was all found in apples favor, such as apple not being a monopoly, the judge not even considering the app store and its framework in her decision (so no touching of the closed garden) and no forcing apple to change their fee structure.


This tweet perfectly sums it up:

Sure looking at all the points EPIC was suing its only a small win. And not really helping EPIC here.
However its a huge win for everybody else.

I would assume however that EPIC might be able to win the argument related to other stores on apple devices.
At least , in my opinion, it should be possible to use other stores on Apple/Google Devices.
 

Guilty_AI

Gold Member
However its a huge win for everybody else.

I would assume however that EPIC might be able to win the argument related to other stores on apple devices.
At least , in my opinion, it should be possible to use other stores on Apple/Google Devices.
If i understood the terms correctly, this could actually make things even worse. The court hasn't forbidden Apple from monetizing apps or managing what gets or not into apple devices. If someone wants to put an app on the store, not only they can still get rejected, apple could alternatively enforce some term requiring, for example, a cut from all the profits of that store made on iOS, since its not guaranteed they'll be getting money from payments through the app store now.
 
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smbu2000

Member
Apple basically only lost on the anti-steering rules. Allowing developers to be able to include a link to an outside payment option. They were not ruled an anti-trust monopoly on Sherman or CA anti-trust laws.

During the temporary injunction (while the court case was happening) Apple had terminated the Epic account with Fortnite, but were unable to terminate the Epic account related to the Unreal Engine. Now that the decision has come through the judge has basically said in the conclusion that there is no more restriction on that and that Apple can terminate any Epic accounts if it doesn't want to do business with them. They most likely won't terminate the Unreal account, but still they have the option now.

Epic also had to pay Apple the 30% commission on the money that they made when they bypassed IAP and offered direct payments just before the lawsuits happened last year. I'm sure Sweeney loved that.
 
If i understood the terms correctly, this could actually make things even worse. The court hasn't forbidden Apple from monetizing apps or managing what gets or not into apple devices. If someone wants to put an app on the store, not only they can still get rejected, apple could alternatively enforce some term requiring, for example, a cut from all the profits of that store made on iOS, since its not guaranteed they'll be getting money from payments through the app store now.
Indeed. Basically, all that was said was that Apple can't stop developers from saying "you can also buy these things elsewhere", and linking to said "elsewhere". There was no provision made for removing the option of Apple's own payment system like what Epic did, or for allowing any other manner of entirely circumventing Apple's commission fees.
 
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phil_t98

Gold Member
Cause those publishers/developers agree to and don't want to Sony to court. Sony is much more important to Epic than Apple. We didn't figure out what that % was on average that Sony were charging for cross platform features.

The judge does I think call out the 30% doesn't represent the work that Apple does and isn't subject to market pressure only legal action. I think she might then interpret a 30% commission as anti-competitive.

the point is Epic agreed to what apple wanted to begin with, the game got massive and Epic thought they could change the rules to suit them but it has backfired
 

reksveks

Member
It would take a considerable logical loop-de-loop to consider a commission that is industry-standard at best, and among the highest that any digital storefront in the industry takes at worst, as "anti-competitive", given that it does the opposite of undercutting competition.
She already said the market doesn't have meaningful competition regarding the rev split or commission though
 
It’s not obvious though. It’s their platform, their devices, their OS, and no developer is forced to put their app on the store. Doing so means you have to follow the rules of the platform. Apple will likely just update their terms to mandate they get a cut off all purchases through the in game links, and get a cut from purchases made in other platforms if the player plays on iOS mainly, like Sony do.

Imagine if a court ruled that Sony had to let Microsoft have an Xbox store on the PlayStation dashboard and let them sell Multiplatform games on the PS5 without giving Sony a cut. Would you agree with that? That’s essentially the endgame here for Epic. This is just step 1 of creating precedent.

Personally I think this is a bad ruling and will only hurt consumers. This means you’ll have apps implementing their own payment gateways, many which will be insecure, and there will be many data breaches and stolen credit card details.
From a consumer point of view I can only advocate for more store options its that simple.
The reality is both Google and Apple have the power over what has become the center of modern life, our mobile devices.
I don't think this is a good solution.
 
And loose again like Epic?
lol Epic were taking on Apple. yknow...the biggest company on the planet. they didn't really stand much of a chance.

i reckon if Epic, or someone else, took on Sony/Nintendo they might stand a good chance of winning. Not so much Microsoft. The only company in the world with more money than Microsoft (or better lawyers) is Apple. Can't see anyone winning against Microsoft but if I were Sony/Nintendo i'd be worried.
 
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Bernkastel

Ask me about my fanboy energy!
lol Epic were taking on Apple. yknow...the biggest company on the planet. it was always a david and goliath situation.
david and goliath situation
 

ethomaz

Banned
I read the actual article; Nilay clearly did not read the ruling. He read a paragraph and wrote an excited article.

A purchasing mechanism is just another word for payment processor.

Nilay is on one with this BS:



Read this, the court was pretty adamant about Apple's right to be the only in app purchase mechanism, from the ruling that Nilay clearly didn't read through:



really this thread should be closed, you are wrong.. sorry
His article is so bad…

This quote you used as example is not even true because even prior the Judge rules Apple already allowed “reader” apps to have a button to a web page to make payments… app developers can do that from 2022 forward.

So his examples like Netflix, Kindle, etc will be allowed to do that even without any Judge decision.
 

ethomaz

Banned
Not only does this not allow apps to collect payment inside the app w/o using Apples IAP, it even says Apple has the right to ask for commissions for purchases outside the app, much like Sony has their allowances for corssplay/crossbuy effecting their bottom line:

Yes… it was a one side victory to Apple.
 

ethomaz

Banned
Are you referring to the change for the japanese case?
Yes.


From 2022 forward what they call “reader” apps can have link to payment web pages.

“ The update will allow developers of “reader” apps to include an in-app link to their website for users to set up or manage an account. While the agreement was made with the JFTC, Apple will apply this change globally to all reader apps on the store. Reader apps provide previously purchased content or content subscriptions for digital magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video.”

That option will be spread to all Apps if the Epic vs Apple decision holds.
 
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reksveks

Member
This is an expansion of that change afaik, reader apps could only link out to one page

Rather, the apps will be allowed to, “share a single link to their website to help users set up and manage their account,” according to Apple’s release.


This ruling from the judge has not such limitations.
 
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ethomaz

Banned
This is an expansion of that change afaik, reader apps could only link out to one page

Rather, the apps will be allowed to, “share a single link to their website to help users set up and manage their account,” according to Apple’s release.

This ruling from the judge has not such limitations.
The ruling from the Judge do the same… you can link to a external web page.

What you do there is not in App control anymore.
 
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reksveks

Member
The ruling from the Judge do the same… you can link to a external web page payment system.

What you do there is not in App control anymore.

Devs can now possibly link out to specific product sku's or a basket page, that's a big difference. The japanese changes literally calls out the use case of the external page 'a single link to their website to help users set up and manage their account.' that the app store team would be reviewing.

Also in the change from the Japanese case, apple review team was the one whom were going to be making the decision from 2022.

The injunction means that the court decides if Apple is going to be able to block any implementation of the external link.

Also I don't know if the japanese change mentioned anything around the anti-steering concerns about letting users know that there is any alternative way to buy a product.

Japanese change for kindle:
- amazon can link out to a user management page where you can control subscription or other detail like name

New change for kindle:
- amazon can now have a link per ebook where you can see the product information and possibly use something like buy it now
- apple is able to charge 'a' commission for that after the money has shifted hands before consumer and Amazon. What this commission will be, no-one knows if there is a practical limit that a judge in California would accept.
 
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ethomaz

Banned
Devs can now possibly link out to specific product sku's or a basket page, that's a big difference. The japanese changes literally calls out the use case of the external page 'a single link to their website to help users set up and manage their account.' that the app store team would be reviewing.

Also in the change from the Japanese case, apple review team was the one whom were going to be making the decision from 2022.

The injunction means that the court decides if Apple is going to be able to block any implementation of the external link.

Also I don't know if the japanese change mentioned anything around the anti-steering concerns about letting users know that there is any alternative way to buy a product.

Japanese change for kindle:
- amazon can link out to a user management page where you can control subscription or other detail like name

New change for kindle:
- amazon can now have a link per ebook where you can see the product information and possibly use something like buy it now
- apple is able to charge 'a' commission for that after the money has shifted hands before consumer and Amazon. What this commission will be, no-one knows if there is a practical limit that a judge in California would accept.
I see not that much difference but time will tell with implementations.
Both the California and Japan are set to 2022 (California is 90 days that put right in 2022).
 

reksveks

Member
I see not that much difference but time will tell with implementations.

Both the California and Japan are set to 2022 (California is 90 days that put right in 2022).

I think it will depend on weird devs get and how much information they try to push with a single 'button' and/or external link. I do wonder if it will use the default browser with your already stored first party cookies.

Early Dec 2021 for the US in theory but yeah its going to be basically only a couple of months between the two changes.
 

ethomaz

Banned
I think it will depend on weird devs get and how much information they try to push with a single 'button' and/or external link. I do wonder if it will use the default browser with your already stored first party cookies.

Early Dec 2021 for the US in theory but yeah its going to be basically only a couple of months between the two changes.
In iOS you can use the Safari to open app links in three ways:

1. Integrated… you don’t even see the Safari being used.
2. Sandbox… you see the Safari with all functionalities but it is a instance outside the main Safari instance (it doesn’t have your history, cookies, etc).
3. In the actual Safari instance… it opens a new tab in the Safari you already use.

Said that you don’t need to use the same cookies… you can set to pass the authentication token to the webpage via POST… so you can avoid a login page using the same authentication you did on the App.

Of course for more security reason and double check devs chooses to ask the Login again in the webpage… I think most will choose that way for purchase actions… maybe to confirm the purchase.

In any case I want to know how Apple will get it take front these external purchase… both rules allow commissions from external purchase revenue if Apple wants… Sony choose to get a upfront commission let’s see how Apple will do.

For Epic side nothing changed because they still needs to pay Apple even using their external store… that was their main concern for the lawsuit but ended in disadvantage… now they have to pay Apple even using their own Store… that is a worst scenario than before.
 
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reksveks

Member
In iOS you can use the Safari to open app links in three ways:

1. Integrated… you don’t even see the Safari being used.
2. Sandbox… you see the Safari with all functionalities but it is a instance outside the main Safari instance (it doesn’t have your history, cookies, etc).
3. In the actual Safari instance… it opens a new tab in the Safari you already use.

Said that you don’t need to use the same cookies… you can set to pass the authentication token to the webpage via POST… so you can avoid a login page using the same authentication you did on the App.

Of course for more security reason and double check devs chooses to ask the Login again in the webpage… I think most will choose that way for purchase actions… maybe to confirm the purchase.

Didn't think about passing the auth token from the app to the browser

For Epic side nothing changed because they still needs to pay Apple even using their external store… that was their main concern for the lawsuit but ended in disadvantage… now they have to pay Apple even using their own Store.

Yeah. Nothing changed for Epic really except for probably a ruling that states that there is no market pressure on Apple's commission, just legal. I don't know if that really has any weight though.
 

phil_t98

Gold Member
In iOS you can use the Safari to open app links in three ways:

1. Integrated… you don’t even see the Safari being used.
2. Sandbox… you see the Safari with all functionalities but it is a instance outside the main Safari instance (it doesn’t have your history, cookies, etc).
3. In the actual Safari instance… it opens a new tab in the Safari you already use.

Said that you don’t need to use the same cookies… you can set to pass the authentication token to the webpage via POST… so you can avoid a login page using the same authentication you did on the App.

Of course for more security reason and double check devs chooses to ask the Login again in the webpage… I think most will choose that way for purchase actions… maybe to confirm the purchase.

In any case I want to know how Apple will get it take front these external purchase… both rules allow commissions from external purchase revenue if Apple wants… Sony choose to get a upfront commission let’s see how Apple will do.

For Epic side nothing changed because they still needs to pay Apple even using their external store… that was their main concern for the lawsuit but ended in disadvantage… now they have to pay Apple even using their own Store… that is a worst scenario than before.
But what’s changed is third parties will now have your bank details rather than the store holders, how many third parties will have secure servers like apple or google do
 

ethomaz

Banned
But what’s changed is third parties will now have your bank details rather than the store holders, how many third parties will have secure servers like apple or google do
I did not thought about that… nice point.
Now Epic or the others external websites can hold your payment data.
 

Genx3

Member
Apple won this case and Epic owes Apple Millions of dollars as well.

The only win for Epic in this case came from now being able to put links on their ios apps/games that can take people to their own store outside of the Apple store where they won't have to share profit.
 
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ethomaz

Banned
Apple won this case and Epic owes Apple Millions of dollars as well.

The only win for Epic in this case came from now being able to put links on their ios apps/games that can take people to their own store outside of the Apple store where they won't have to share profit.
They have to share profit.
Judge said Apple has the right to ask commission from sales from that linked web store.

How it will work… I don’t know.

That is why nothing changed to Epic except now Epic can hold payment data in their web store instead Apple.
 
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HF2014

Member
Watch Epic go after Apple again for money lost projection because Fortnite was pulled from their store.
 
I think the writing is on the wall for Apple's walled garden, even if Epic won't get its way through the courts. Seeing the laws change outside US, and pretty much a bipartisan feeling of wanting to curtail big tech in US, Apple and Google will have to reign in their greed eventually. Or maybe it's just posturing from US politicians, maybe they are actually bought and it's all empty words. I just don't think it's enough for EU and other more sane places.
 
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Genx3

Member
They have to share profit.
Judge said Apple has the right to ask commission from sales from that linked web store.

How it will work… I don’t know.

That is why nothing changed to Epic except now Epic can hold payment data in their web store instead Apple.
If that's true then Epic lost this case in every way.
Wow if true.
 

Genx3

Member
I think the writing is on the wall for Apple's walled garden, even if Epic won't get its way through the courts. Seeing the laws change outside US, and pretty much a bipartisan feeling of wanting to curtail big tech in US, Apple and Google will have to reign in their greed eventually. Or maybe it's just posturing from US politicians, maybe they are actually bought and it's all empty words. I just don't think it's enough for EU and other more sane places.

Why would the writing be on the wall for Apple's walled garden??

It's Apple's platform, they developed it, marketed it and took every associated risk with it.
It's Apple's walled Garden and no one forces people to buy into the platform.

If you don't like walled gardens you don't buy Apple products. It is not a monopoly. There are competing products you can buy that serve the same purpose.
 

Genx3

Member
Watch Epic go after Apple again for money lost projection because Fortnite was pulled from their store.

Epic now owes Apple millions of dollars.
Epic is not going to win because the court has to decide things fairly.

If Epic wants what Apple has then Epic can develop their own platforms, engineer their own hardware, market the platforms, create an OS (or license one), and invest billions of dollars to market, manage and develop this platform. Then Epic can control the platform and make the profits they want.

Trying to force themselves on someone else's platform and hardware is asinine, greedy and lazy.
 
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