US federal judge rules that Apple cannot force developers to use its payment system in the app store

The long-awaited ruling by a United States federal judge in Epic Games’ antitrust lawsuit against Apple gave both parties a chance to claim victories.

The ruling, issued on Friday morning, requires Apple to allow Epic and other developers to inform users about alternative payment mechanisms and link to their own transaction systems, a new report from TechCrunch.

US District Court Judge Yvonne González Rogers ruled that Epic “failed in its burden of proving that Apple is an illegal monopolist” and is not entitled to other remedies it sought.

In the end, Apple can maintain its system of charging commissions of up to 30 percent on transactions in its mobile App Store. Apple may also continue to prevent app developers from installing rival app stores or alternative payment systems that operate within apps distributed through the Apple store.

“Today, the Court has affirmed what we have known all along: the App Store does not violate antitrust law,” Apple said in a statement. “As the Court recognized, ‘success is not illegal.’

Apple legal counsel Kate Adams called the decision a victory, but did not comment on the judge’s decision that Apple cannot force users to pay within its payment system.

The Epic Games vs. Apple lawsuit began just over a year ago when the iOS version of Fortnite implemented a new means of purchasing in-game currency, bypassing Apple’s payment system. The App Store terms of use prohibited such payment schemes, primarily because Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all sales through the App Store, including in-app purchases, with few exceptions.

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