SAN RAMON, Calif. — A federal judge ordered Apple to dismantle part of the competitive barricade guarding its closely run app developers billions of dollars, encouraging them to lower the prices consumers pay., threatening one of the iPhone maker’s biggest moneymakers. Such a change could save
The ruling issued Friday decides an antitrust case brought by Epic Games, best known as the maker of Fortnite, the popular billions of dollars in annual revenue.by about 400 million people worldwide. dropped on news of the ruling. They were down by more than 2% in Friday afternoon trading, reflecting investor fears that the legislation would siphon away the company’s
Epic cast that highly lucrative fee as a price-gouging tactic that wouldn’t be possible if competing.
Although the ruling by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers requires Apple to make some changes in its app store, it also upheld thefor its iPhone. She sided with Apple on every other key point of the was operating an illegal monopoly as Epic had charged.
“As the Court recognized, ‘success is not illegal,'” Apple said in a statement. “Apple faces rigorous competition in every segment in which we do business, and we believeand services are the best in the world.”
The Cupertino, California, company didn’t say whether it would appeal the injunction requiring iPhone app developers to offer other payment options.
Gonzalez Rogers also dealt Epic a blow bymaker breached its contract with Apple when Fortnite added a non-Apple payment system to its app. She ordered Epic to pay Apple nearly $3.7 million, or 30% of the revenue it collected, while violating . That defiance prompted Apple to oust Fortnite from its app store 13 months ago, triggering Epic’s lawsuit.
Epic, a privately held company based in Cary,, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But Epic CEO Tim Sweeney denounced the ruling in a tweet, or consumers.”
He said Fortnite will return toonce it can offer competitive in-app payments. “We will fight on,” he added in a subsequent tweet.
The 185-page ruling caps a trial focused on one of the pillars holding up Apple’s $2 trillion empire — one that Apple’sago.
Since that trial ended three months ago, Apple has taken two steps to loosen some of itsrules — one to settle a lawsuit and another to appease Japanese regulators without altering its commissions. Those concessions make it easier for many apps to prod their to pay for digital transactions in ways that avoid triggering Apple’s fees.
Now Gonzalez Rogers is ordering Apple to go even further by allowingwithin apps, something Apple has steadfastly resisted. Apple also maintains that blocking other payment links within apps helps protect the of people using its iPhones, iPads, and iPods.