“The Court does not find that Apple is an antitrust monopolist in the submarket for mobile gaming transactions. However, it does find that Apple’s conduct in enforcing anti-steering restrictions is anticompetitive.”
Therefore, the Californian judge issued an injunction
that says that Apple is
“hereby permanently restrained and enjoined from prohibiting developers from (i) including in their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to in-app purchasing and (ii) communicating with customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app.”
Apple has 90 days starting from September 10, 2021, until this injunction becomes live and actionable. Following the ruling, Epic Games immediately filed an appeal in its case against Apple.
What are the consequences for app publishers and In-App payments?
Due to the sentence “in addition to in-app purchasing” and to the in-depth analysis of the relevant markets, all analysts are sharing this statement: Apple is today allowed to keep IAP mandatory.
But the Court wants Apple to give app publishers the flexibility to allow pricing transparency. What is unknown right now is the level of flexibility that the Judge has in mind.
- Due to Epic’s appeal, nothing will change in Q4 2021.
- 2022 will open the field of possibilities.
- Nobody knows the concrete feasibilities of in-app coexistence of alternative payments and In-App Purchases that could be the results of the legal battle.
- The Korean bill passed in August (see our previous newsletter) might be the trigger as The Korea Communications Commission will soon be drawing up an enforcement ordinance. An anonymous regulatory official says that it could be mid-October.
The Purchasely team is already working on adapting its product in order to enable Mobile subscriptions business in any set-up and possible Epic vs. Apple outcome. More to come on this very soon!