Apple is obliged to open access to third-party payment methods on apps in its Store
Apple and Epic Games had taken their dispute over payments for popular games from the studio such as Fortnite to the United States District Court (Northern District of California) in August 2020. Now, it has culminated in a ruling from the judge in this case, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. Apple has been handed the win as a result of this verdict...technically, at least.
Judge Gonzalez Rogers has ultimately concluded that Epic Games' petition concerning Apple's monopoly on payments through its iOS App Store does not hold up, and that the Cupertino giant does not break the anti-trust laws as cited by the developer. Therefore, the former can now go ahead and charge the latter approximately US$4 million: 30% of the revenue made from Epic's re-routing of payments for Fortnite directly to it and away from the App Store.
Furthermore, the restoration of Epic Games' developer account on the same platform remains at Apple's discretion. However, there is a sting in the tail for the apparent victor of this lawsuit. Gonzalez Rogers has also determined that the App Store policy by which only first-party payments are allowed is "anticompetitive" and should be stopped. Therefore, the tech behemoth must now permit alternative payment methods, whether through links or other methods, within apps made for Apple devices.
The Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has stated that his company's titles may join them once again - but only when this new third-party payment support is implemented. Therefore, Apple may have gained the share of Fortnite money to which it believed itself entitled, yet now stands to lose far more than that in the long run.