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Apple Slips as Judge Says It Can’t Force Developers to Use In-app Purchasing

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By Dhirendra Tripathi

Investing.com – Apple stock (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 3.4% Friday as a judge ruled that the iPhone-maker could no longer prohibit developers from providing links or other communication that direct users away from its in-app purchasing service.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’ injunction came in the much-publicized dispute between the world’s largest company and Epic Games, the firm behind the popular online video game Fortnite. The ruling will take 90 days to come into effect.

Apple charges apps 15% to 30% per transaction on its platform, a policy software developers find prohibitive but still comply with to be present on the devices of the world’s third largest smartphone maker. There was some relief for Apple in the ruling, though.

Rogers (NYSE:ROG) said that Apple was not a monopolist and “success is not illegal.”

Epic wanted to install its own app store on iPhones, which would allow it to duck paying a fee to Apple. The game publisher gave consumers the option to buy Fortnite cheaper directly from its website. Apple removed the game from its store, which eventually led to Epic filing the lawsuit.

As per the order, Epic will pay Apple damages because it breached its contract, amounting to 30% of all revenue it collected from iOS Fortnite through direct payments.

Apple has recently taken steps to address concerns over its in-app purchase policy. This includes allowing developers to email customers about alternatives to app store billing to pay them directly, instead of going through Apple.

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