On Monday, Apple was granted a motion staying an appeals court ruling that would push the company to undo its “anti-direction” rules and allow third-party developers to link to third-party payment mechanisms. The injunction is suspended for 90 days so Apple can file its request for the Supreme Court to take up the case.
Apple’s anti-direction rules limit how developers can direct users to subscription or in-app purchase payments outside of Apple’s App Store ecosystem, where a portion of the revenue is taken. A district court found that Apple had not generally violated antitrust law with its “walled garden” approach to iOS, but ordered it to remove rules that prohibit developers from including “calls to action” for payment methods. external.
Once that petition is filed, it stays on hold until the Supreme Court decides to hear it, and if it does, until the Supreme Court intervenes.
In their request to block the suspension, Epic’s lawyers argued that Apple’s claims “have no prospect of review by the Supreme Court” and that “Apple has no choice but to rely on arguments that are so weak that previously only he mentioned them sparingly or not at all. .”
Despite granting Apple’s request, Ninth Circuit Judge Milan D. Smith Jr. writes: “…while Apple’s motion’s arguments may not be technically frivolous, they ignore key aspects of the panel’s reasoning and the key factual findings of the district court. When our reasoning and the district court’s conclusions are considered, Apple’s arguments do not hold up to even the slightest scrutiny. Arguments about the position and scope of Apple’s injunctive relief simply mask its disagreement with the district court’s findings and state law liability objection as grounds of legal error.”
The original sentence in Epic Games vs. Apple ordering Apple to remove the anti-twist rules fell apart in September 2021 after days of court testimony earlier that year. Both Epic and Apple appealed the ruling, and in April of this year, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the ruling. Now, Apple wants the Supreme Court to hear the case, and if it does, the court’s decision could have a huge effect on the future of the app ecosystem as we know it.