A judge isn’t letting Apple delay a rule change that will help developers avoid some App Store fees

Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Apple CEO Tim Cook.
  • Apple in October filed a motion to delay an injunction in its case against Epic Games.
  • The injunction permits developers to direct their users away from iOS apps to pay for services.
  • A judge on Tuesday denied Apple's motion to delay the injunction.

A judge on Tuesday rejected Apple's request to delay an injunction that liberates developers from one of the tech giant's most contentious App Store rules.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said that Apple must comply with an earlier order that permits developers to direct their users away from iOS apps to pay for services - and means Apple can't take a cut of these purchases.

The ruling is part of Apple's long-running legal fight against Epic Games, the maker of the wildly popular video game Fortnite.

Apple tried in October to obtain an injunction to delay the judge's order.

Apple levies a 15-30% commission on all in-app purchases made in the App Store - a practice that Epic Games and other developers including music-streaming company Spotify have said is anti-competitive. Apple's "anti-steering" rules mean developers are not allowed to tell users to go elsewhere, for example a web browser, to purchase the same products, and thereby stop Apple taking a cut.

Judge Gonzalez Rogers ruled partly in favor of Apple in September but mandated that the company get rid of its anti-steering rules on the App Store.

The Verge reported that during a hearing preceding her ruling, Judge Gonzalez Rogers took issue with the fact Apple was asking for an indefinite delay. "You haven't asked for additional time. You've asked for an injunction which would effectively take years," Gonzalez Rogers said, per The Verge.

Apple now has until December 9 to start allowing developers to steer users away from their iOS apps for purchases such as subscriptions.

The Verge reported that Apple plans to appeal to the case to delay the order coming into force.

An Apple spokesperson told The Verge: "Apple believes no additional business changes should be required to take effect until all appeals in this case are resolved. We intend to ask the Ninth Circuit for a stay based on these circumstances."

Apple and Epic Games did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment.

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