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Apple is deciding its victory against Epic wasn't enough; it wants a total win

Apple is deciding its victory against Epic wasn't enough; it wants a total win

October 13, 2021: -Apple wants another go in its legal battle against Epic Games. On Friday, Apple announced it would ask for a stay on a judge’s September order saying Apple would allow apps to direct customers to external websites. That ruling would let app businesses circumvent Apple’s requirement to facilitate payments only inside apps, where Apple takes up a 30% cut. Apple appeals the ruling.

Because Epic Games is appealing the nine counts it lost, it could take years before the case is resolved. Apple is forced to make changes to iOS, the operating system for iPhones, as the two companies wrangle through the appeals process in court.

The judge is expected to rule on Apple’s request for a stay the following month.

In September, Apple’s move was a surprising turnaround from its tone following the decision. While the company is always open to the possibility of an appeal, it portrayed the ruling of the judge as a resounding legal win for its App Store business model, coming under fire from technology rivals, international regulators, and members of the U.S. Congress.

“We are very pleased with the ruling of the court, and we consider this a huge win for Apple,” Kate Adams, Apple’s lawyer, said in September after the rule.

Friday’s announcement inspired a torrent of commentary from Apple critics. They pointed out the move would preserve Apple’s App Store of Apple profits by preventing apps from using alternative payment systems. Last week, one company announced that it was already working on a cheaper, web-based alternative to Apple’s app payments. Apple does not disclose profit margins for the App Store, but it generated about $64 billion in gross sales in 2020.

Apple said it filed the appeal because it faces a legal deadline this month. If Apple didn’t appeal directly, it would forever lose the option, and it can always change its mind and withdraw the appeal. Apple framed its appeal as a way to hold off a hasty business decision before the case was fully closed. The order from the judge, who is requiring Apple to allow apps to link out to the web in December.

If the judge grants Apple the stay on order next month, the status quo will remain until Epic Games and Apple settles their beef. That could take years and help Apple resist more forced changes to its App Store model.

Apple may have initially pitched the ruling in the Epic Games case as a win, but its appeal shows it will protect its lucrative App Store model until the bitter end.

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