Apple’s lucrative App Store business received a major blow Friday thanks to a federal judge’s decision in the company’s legal battle with Epic Games.
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers handed down the decision in the closely watched trial, and issued an injunction that said Apple will no longer be allowed to prohibit developers from providing links or other communications that direct users away from Apple in-app purchasing. Apple typically takes a 15% to 30% cut of gross sales.
The injunction addresses a longstanding developer complaint and raises the possibility that developers could direct their users to their website to subscribe to or purchase digital content, hurting Apple’s App Store sales, which grossed an estimated $64 billion in 2020.
Apple stock dropped more than 2% in trading Friday.
The decision concludes the first part of the battle between the two companies over Apple’s App Store policies and whether they stifle competition. Apple won on nine of 10 counts but was found to engage in anticompetitive conduct under California law, and will be forced to change its App Store policies and loosen its grip over in-app purchases. The injunction will come into effect in December.
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