Apple is still weighing whether to appeal last week’s Epic v. Apple antitrust ruling, the company said today. In a call with reporters, a representative said Apple was still evaluating its legal options and had not made a decision about its next steps. The position contrasts sharply with Epic, which announced yesterday that it intends to appeal.
Apple reiterated a position it took last week, casting the ruling as a near-total victory. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers dismissed nine of Epic’s 10 claims, including ones that would have required iOS to allow third-party app stores and payment processors. She ordered Epic to pay damages for breaching its developer contract. Apple also doesn’t have to return Epic’s hit game Fortnite to the iOS App Store, and it can choose to terminate other Epic-affiliated developer accounts.
Apple hasn’t taken a position on whether it will ban any Epic-related apps beyond Fortnite. Asked for comment, a representative said Apple is still looking at its options regarding Epic’s future on iOS.
Last year, Epic said Apple might cut off support for the widely used Unreal Engine on iOS — a nuclear option in the conflict between them. That seems theoretically possible now, but Apple has publicly taken a measured tone so far, saying it would “welcome” Fortnite back into the App Store if it removed its non-Apple in-app purchase option.
While Apple won most claims, it was found to be violating California’s Unfair Competition Law with its anti-steering rules. A court order will require it to let developers link to alternate payment options outside their apps, although they still need to use Apple’s in-app purchase system within them. That order will take effect in December if Apple doesn’t appeal and win a delay of it.
For now Apple says it’s studying how it could change its rules to comply with the order, which it characterized as line-editing Apple’s terms of service. But unsurprisingly, it doesn’t have any answers to share.
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