June 12, 2024

Mikayla Macfarlane

Serving technology better

Apple to allow developers to link to outside payment methods

3 min read
Apple to allow developers to link to outside payment methods

Apple’s App Store will now allow developers to link outside payment platforms after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear its appeal in its legal battle with Epic Games.

The iPhone maker has updated its policy in the United States, letting developers bypass Apple’s own payment system, which charges a commission of either 15% or 30%. However, the tech giant said it would still attempt to collect a 12% or 27% revenue share that opts out of the Apple system.

Under the guidelines, developers can apply for an entitlement, allowing them to include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchases.

The guideline states, “Developers may apply for an entitlement to provide a link in their app to a website the developer owns or maintains responsibility for in order to purchase such items,” adding that the entitlement is limited to use only in the iOS or iPadOS App Store on the U.S. storefront.

The Supreme Court had declined to consider the Cupertino-based company’s challenge of lower-court rulings that found some of the store rules for apps purchased on more than one billion iPhones constitute unfair competition under California law. The justices also dismissed Epic’s secondary appeal, however, Apple’s stock fell more than 2% in early trading on Tuesday.

In a series of posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said Apple’s plan remained anti-competitive. He added that the company would contest Apple’s “bad-faith compliance plan” in District Court.

What did Apple do to Epic Games?

In 2020, Apple removed Epic’s Fortnite game from the App Store when Epic Games introduced an alternative in-game payment method, allowing players to bypass Apple’s 30% fee on in-app purchases. Google also responded by withdrawing Fortnite from the Play Store.

Epic subsequently filed a lawsuit alleging antitrust violations by Apple, claiming that the company had unlawfully monopolized the market. However, in 2021, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers rejected Epic’s antitrust claims.

Featured Image: Pexels / Canva

Suswati Basu

Freelance journalist

Suswati Basu is a multilingual, award-winning editor and the founder of the intersectional literature channel, How To Be Books. She was shortlisted for the Guardian Mary Stott Prize and longlisted for the Guardian International Development Journalism Award.

With 18 years of experience in the media industry, Suswati has held significant roles such as head of audience and deputy editor for NationalWorld news, digital editor for Channel 4 News
and ITV News. She has also contributed to the Guardian and received training at the BBC As an audience, trends, and SEO specialist, she has participated in panel events alongside Google.

Her career also includes a seven-year tenure at the leading AI company Dataminr, where she led the Europe desk and launched the company’s first employee resource group for disabilities. Before this, Suswati worked as a journalist in China for four years, investigating censorship and the Great Firewall, and acquired proficiency in several languages.

In recent years, Suswati has been nominated for six awards, including the Independent Podcast Awards, International Women’s Podcast Awards, and the Anthem Awards for her literary social affairs show.

Her areas of speciality span a wide range, including technology, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), social politics, mental health, and nonfiction books.

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