The case concerned Fortnite's decision to introduce a direct payment system in the game to bypass App Store's 30% commission.
The judge took the side of the tech giant in 9 decisions out of 10, but banned Apple from restricting links to additional third-party payment methods in iOS applications. Thus, the company can no longer prohibit developers from redirecting their users to websites or other sources to make a purchase.
This injunction gives developers more flexibility as they can embed their "metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing and communicating with customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app," the court decision reads.
Apple was not recognized as a monopolist, but its actions were recognized as anti-competitive since the company did not allow developers to bypass its internal payment system, which brought in significant profits thanks to the 30% commission.
At the same time, Epic Games failed to convince the court that Apple holds a monopoly position. Therefore, third-party app stores will not be allowed for installation on Apple platforms.
The court also concluded that Epic Games violated the contract it had with Apple when it added an alternative payment method to Fortnite. The company now has to pay Apple 30% of all profits generated through the payment system since its implementation, which can amount to a total of more than $3.5 million in compensation.
Now the court's decision should take effect 90 days after its announcement, that is, on December 9. Apple does not plan to file an appeal as it expressed satisfaction with the court's decisions.
Nevertheless, the proceedings between Epic Games and Apple may still be ongoing since the former has filed an appeal because it was dissatisfied with the court's ruling in the case against Apple. Epic Games asks the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to reconsider the case, overturning the previous decision.