Apple must allow iOS apps to direct users to purchasing mechanisms other than the one offered by Apple, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled in the monumental Apple vs Epic lawsuit on September 10. This ruling comes at a time when regulators around the world are looking into curbing the dominance of the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Last month, South Korea set precedent by passing a new law that requires Apple to allow alternative in-app purchase mechanisms as well, but the US ruling goes further because it will likely make Apple change its guidelines for all countries. You can access a copy of the complete 185-pages ruling here. Anti-steering rules are anti-competitive Concluding that Apple's anti-steering laws are in violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, the order says, Apple is: 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. This injunction is set to go into effect on December 9, 2021, unless Apple appeals and wins a stay. A nuanced reading of the order Although it appears as if the developers can avoid paying Apple's 30 percent commission by offering in-app purchases through alternative payment mechanisms, Apple can find another way to charge this commission. The ruling only hinders Apple from charging this…
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