Apple has successfully delayed the court-ordered requirement that it allow alternative in-app payment options as a result of the Epic antitrust trial, on the day before the Dec. 9 deadline set by the court when the ruling came down in September.
“We’re constantly evolving the App Store to help create an even better experience for our users and the incredibly talented community of iOS developers," Apple said in a statement. "Our concern is that these changes would have created new privacy and security risks, and disrupted the user experience customers love about the App Store. We want to thank the court for granting this stay while the appeals process continues.”
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers denied Apple's request to stay the order in November, after the iPhone maker made an unsuccessful appeal to the judge by arguing the implementation of new rules around in-app payment alternatives would have a disastrous effect on the iOS ecosystem and create unforeseen challenges for Apple and app makers.
Apple's lawyer argued that such changes would take months to create and test and that implementing them would be "exceedingly complicated" and would require "guardrails and guidelines to protect children, to protect developers, to protect consumers, to protect Apple." Apple's lawyer also said rules around such changes would have to be "written into guidelines that can be explained and enforced and applied.” Apple argued that such a change should wait "until all appeals in this case are resolved."
Yet in what looked like a resounding defeat for Apple, Judge Gonzalez Rogers called Apple's request “fundamentally flawed,” saying during the hearing, "You did not ask for a few months. You did not ask for six months. You didn’t ask for a limited amount of time. You asked for an across-the-board stay, which could take three, four, five years.” She denied the request, but Apple shortly appealed.
Now, in a new ruling from Ninth Circuit, the court ruled that "Apple has demonstrated, at minimum, that its appeal raises serious questions on the merits of the district court's determination that Epic Games, Inc. failed to show Apple's conduct violated any antitrust laws but did show that the same conduct violated California's Unfair Competition Law."
The court order also said, "Apple has also made a sufficient showing of irreparable harm … and that the remaining factors weigh in favor of staying part of the injunction and maintaining the status quo pending appeal."