back to article Apple files fresh appeal to stop court order demanding external payment systems in iOS apps

Apple has appealed a judge's decision forcing the company to allow developers to add external third-party payment systems in their iOS apps by December 9. The iGiant is still embroiled in a legal battle with games maker Epic in an ongoing case at the Northern District Court of California. Although Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers …

  1. Jim Mitchell
    Paris Hilton

    As I understand it, you don't have a "automatic" right to appeal a court's ruling. Yet I keep hearing about all these court cases where each side appeals repeatedly. I'm confused on how the US court system works. As an American, that isn't good news.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Sure you do. You can appeal all the way up to the Supreme Court, which may decide to not actually hear the case. I think there's like 4 or 5 layers of courts below that.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        The original case was heard in district court. You can appeal to the appeals court, which will hear your appeal with a subset of the full panel of judges (usually 3) That can be appealed to the full panel of judges, and finally can be appealed to the Supreme Court.

        There is no requirement that a court be willing to hear your appeal, and while if the appeals court refused to hear your case you can appeal that refusal to the full appeals court and finally the Supreme Court, that's rarely successful. Since Apple is trying to obtain a stay, a "refusal to hear" is the same thing as a denial. As is taking a long time to get an answer, since the clock is ticking on the 90 days.

        Typically a court will only grant a stay if they believe there's enough merit to the case to warrant a hearing over the issues, and that not granting the stay would be harmful in some way (i.e. cost money, reputation, etc.) So if they refuse to grant a stay, that would be the court saying "we don't think you can win". If they do grant a stay, that doesn't mean Apple will win, just that the judges think they have enough of a case to deserve a hearing.

        1. EricB123

          We Need Our Jobs

          I think the current USA justice system was mythologically from the "Judges Full Employment Act of 19xx".

      2. Rich 2 Silver badge

        ….but

        …. You need to be bringing something new to the case in order to make an appeal? You can’t just make an appeal and present the original evidence again but shout louder.

        At least I’m pretty sure that’s how it works in the UK - I’m assuming the US has a similar rule - it strikes me as likely it does

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: ….but

          In England, you can't usually bring new evidence, but you can say that the previous judge got it wrong on a point of law.

  2. msobkow Silver badge

    "But... but... but... that's our CASH COW!!! How ELSE are we supposed to bilk our lusers?"

    1. idiot taxpayer here again Bronze badge

      @msobkow

      Please could you explain why I am a "luser"? Please don't bang on about the supposed high prices I pay or I will tell you about the high prices I get when I sell them on.

      And, no. I could not run my business using Linux. No software that I have looked at comes even close to the software I use.

      Wavelab pro, Cubase, Photoshop, Rekordbox, Finalcut, And yes, they are not free, but who cares? I can afford to pay for them. I am not interested in fartarseing around with free half-baked software to make it work. I prefer to just install it and have it work. Is that wrong?

      So, again, Why am I a luser?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. msobkow Silver badge

        Funny how many people think comics people write or jokes people crack are about them personally.

        Kinda sad to be looking for insults where none were implied. I've been in the industry over 30 years. I've learned my own "insider's" sense of humor when it comes to tech; newbs and outsiders need not understand.

        And yes, I do look down on regular users, no matter the sector. As does any specialist in any industry look down upon their clientelle as being uneducated and in desperate need of assistance to do what is, to them, the simplest of tasks.

        You can safely assume my insults are for the industry, however, and so-called "leaders" in the industry and around it.

        So I laugh at the mistakes of the user communities, too. I laugh at a lot of things in life. It's my prerogative to be amused and bemused by humanity instead of throwing temper tantrums of puffed up self-important outrage over the mis-steps of the industry.

        I'm a big fan of the immortal John Cleese, if you want to see how twisted I can be...

        But I get it. Society is now infested with the "truths" of the "new" generation who was raised to always expect a trophy as long as they showed up... their shoulders are wide and the chips heavy.

      3. Scubadynamo

        Ignore the Apple hater sheep.

        You aren’t a “luser”. People just love to hate Apple and it’s users, or rather they love to follow the crowd, to be seen hating on Apple and it’s users. These are the real “Apple sheep”. Apple make very good computing solutions and software there’s nothing to be ashamed of buying from them.

        Half of it is money, Apple are extremely rich and they charge a lot, some people hate that. Look at Elon Musk, he’s done the world a huge service with satellite internet, electric car innovation, he’s made it a lot cheaper to get satellites in space. But none of that matters, he’s hated because he’s a billionaire and he like to put his face out there.

        Just ignore it, be happy with what you’ve got. The chances are most Apple critics paid iPhone money for a phone that’s now 2 years old, not receiving the latest updates and worth about 10% what they paid for at resale.

        1. Phones Sheridan Bronze badge

          Re: Ignore the Apple hater sheep.

          Lol says the commentard with 11 posts to his name. Admit it, you're an Apple employee here!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The company could simply change its App Store guidelines to get a cut of purchases even if they’re processed by external payment systems.

    Obviously Apple couldn't actually prove each transaction. But Apple could technically observe when a new game has downloaded and debit the game company according to what prices are observed on the game companies web site. Said debit being claimed for continued hosting.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Apple is doing all efforts to show it's actually a monopoly. It became so arrogant it can't understand it's giving antitrust agencies all they need.

      1. UHA

        Do you expect Apple to host the application for free?

        1. Phones Sheridan Bronze badge

          They're not hosting it for free. They are receiving $99 per year per developer from the developer. Also, if it's a paid-for app, that payment goes to the Apple store. What we're talking about here is in-app purchases, nothing to do with app hosting.

        2. devin3782

          They don't anyway, you pay a fee as a developer and have to buy their products to develop an app.

        3. Dinanziame Silver badge
          Stop

          No, I expect them to allow users to download the app from somewhere else. No one is forcing them to host anything.

  4. luminous

    What stops Apple from updating their terms to make sure that every in-app purchase is reported back to Apple. They can they bill the developer 30% commission for hosting and app vetting on a monthly basis. Failure to pay, suspends the app from the store and on all phones.

    There is your "non anti competitive" payment solution, who will also charge you a few percent. The developer got what they wanted but now they have even less revenue.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Other payment systems should charge Apple 30% for any purchase of Apple gear or anything on its platforms....

      Also Apple TOS can't be against the law - forcing to report any purchase that could break privacy laws, for example in Europe would be another nice arrow for antitrust and privacy agencies....

    2. Zolko Bronze badge

      What stops Apple from ...

      the law. It's as if a car company forced you to only use tires bought from them: it's your car, and you can put the tires you want on it. Preventing the customer from doing this is illegal, it's documented, and I don't know how Apple could get away with it for so long.

      1. Phones Sheridan Bronze badge

        " I don't know how Apple could get away with it for so long."

        Cos they have more money than every tire company ever, every car company ever, every company company ever and probably every god ever!!! Stop holding it wrong and get with the program man!

      2. msobkow Silver badge

        They "got away with it" because lawyers. Lots and lots of expensive teams of well-researched lawyers... teams big enough to make the hearts of any government investigator nervous at the thought of tackling them in court. Add in the occasional political "donations", and suddenly no one in government is too interested in "upsetting the Apple cart." (tm)

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the injunction would impose irreparable injury"

    Irreparable, yes, but not important.

    Apple will survive even if Epic wins, and it's not like Apple will have to pay what Epic is not giving now.

    Yes, Apple will make less money, but it already has litterally more money than it can spend. It is the top company in the world by market cap and is more valuable than Facebook, Nvidia and TSMC put together. It can take the hit.

    Personally, I would not respond to this appeal.

  6. Dinanziame Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    I find quite extraordinary that Apple is arguing it has the right to grab 30% of any transaction executed within an iPhone app, even when processed by third-party payment systems.

    1. Scubadynamo

      They have the right because that’s the terms of service everyone agrees to when they buy an iPhone. But it’s not just Apple, Sony, MS, Nintendo all charge similar amounts to developers, sometimes even more. Steam charge developers 30% to sell games on their windows app, they don’t even own the platform they sell on.

      Really the question is, what gives people the idea that they shouldn’t have to pay Apple anything to sell anything in their store? If you sell on Amazon you pay Amazon, if you sell on eBay you pay eBay. And as mentioned, if you sell your software on a games console you pay those owners too. What’s different with Apple?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Really the question is, what gives people the idea that they shouldn’t have to pay Apple anything to sell anything in their store?

        It's normal that the store gets a cut; but here it would be a transaction in a third-party store not owned by Apple. Apple might as well claim that if you use a MacBook to buy something from Amazon, they should get a cut as well just because you're using their hardware to do it.

      2. Phones Sheridan Bronze badge

        This isn't "in-store" purchases, this is "in-app". 2 different things. Apple are more than entitled to charge what they want in store.

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