The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down Epic Games’ strict App Store payment rules that prevented developers from introducing alternative payment methods for in-app purchases. The court declined to allow a federal judge’s injunction that could force the iPhone maker to change how it pays for its lucrative App Store. The court ruling lets Apple maintain its strict App Store payment rules for now. The decision is a setback for Epic Games, the publisher of the popular battle royale video game “Fortnite” and developers of Web3 apps awaiting changes in Apple’s App Store policy.
Apple only processes purchases and in-app transactions for apps listed on the App Store through Apple Pay, which not only restricts users from making these purchases in fiat currency, but also charges a 30% commission on the overall transaction.
Apple’s AppStore policy has been repeatedly accused of suppressing Web3 players. Since the digital asset industry is notorious for its volatility, Apple maintains strict rules on the platform to protect iOS users from the financial risks posed by virtual assets such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Despite harsh criticism from community members, the iPhone maker stood its ground.
Apple has very strict rules about any app used on its devices. Usually they ask for a 30% tax on all financial transactions, but that’s not possible with cryptocurrencies, they just ban apps that have a direct link/usage to exchanges and transactions.
— Alieb (@adaaleeb) August 7, 2023
In its defense, Epic Games is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco that effectively delayed U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’ release of the prohibits the enforcement of certain App Store rules. Essentially, the video game publisher wants its users to be able to invest in in-game assets through an online payment app unrelated to Apple’s ecosystem, thereby circumventing Apple’s hefty 30% cut on all purchases.
In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld an earlier ruling that Apple’s policy effectively violated California’s competition law by forcing users to use only its payment platform to process purchases within apps available on the App Store. Behavior.
At the time, the court also said that Apple’s restrictive payment rules for developers of iOS apps not only hurt their businesses, but also interfered with consumer engagement with those apps.
At the same time, Apple’s battle with Web3 applications is also making headlines. For example, back in May, the Cupertino, California-based tech giant was at loggerheads with Zeus and Damus, two non-custodial digital wallet providers. In both cases, Apple said the apps violated its App Store policies.
Instead, Apple rival Google updated its Play Store policies. Google’s Play Store has now officially allowed video game publishers to facilitate the sale of NFTs on its store. It updated its “Real Money Gambling, Games, and Contests” policy, which now requires developers to fill out an app declaration that allows users to trade digital assets.