Epic Games Demands Compliance with 2021 Court Ruling Against Apple

Epic Games has sought a court order from Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers to enforce her original 2021 ruling regarding alternative payment systems in Apple’s App Store. The company contends that Apple’s updated policy, which calls for a 27% commission on payments made outside the App Store (or 12% for smaller development teams), continues to exhibit anti-competitive behavior.

According to Epic Games, this practice maintains commission fees at a level comparable to using Apple’s built-in payment system. This goes against the spirit of the court’s initial decision. As evidence, the company cites statements from Christian Owens, founder of the payment platform Paddle, and Benjamin Simon, creator of the fitness app Down Dog for iOS. Owens calls the choice offered by Apple illusory, while Simon points to the need for higher subscription prices in the iOS version of the app compared to the web version due to this fee.

Epic Games vs Apple

Epic also emphasizes that Apple requires the use of a specific “Plain Button Style” design for links to alternative payment methods, which the company says does not match any standard button design and contradicts the court’s decision outlawing the restriction of developers. Epic representative Natalie Muñoz commented to The Verge that Apple’s new policy eliminates the ability to direct users to external payment systems, as implemented in the Down Dog app for Android, where users are directed to the website to purchase subscriptions at a lowered price.

The original court order did not specify how users should be directed to alternative payment systems, leaving room for interpretation. As a result, Apple’s actions may be seen as a violation of the court order’s terms. Experts, including former Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division lawyer Daniel McCuaig, speculate that the court is unlikely to support Apple’s demand for a 27% commission fee.

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