The injunction will take effect in 90 days. Apple could, and likely will, appeal the decision.
In an emailed statement to Gizmodo, an Apple spokesperson wrote, “Today the Court has affirmed what we’ve known all along: the App Store is not in violation of antitrust law. As the Court recognized ‘success is not illegal.’ Apple faces rigorous competition in every segment in which we do business, and we believe customers and developers choose us because our products and services are the best in the world.”
“We remain committed to ensuring the App Store is a safe and trusted marketplace that supports a thriving developer community and more than 2.1 million U.S. jobs, and where the rules apply equally to everyone,” the Apple spokesperson added.
In late August, Apple had already proposed a settlement in a separate lawsuit that would have allowed developers to use registration data such as email to inform users of ways to pay outside the App Store—which would serve as a workaround of sorts to shelling out nearly a third of every transaction to Apple but would be a far cry from the kind of changes ordered by the new injunction. In a settlement in yet another case with the Japan Fair Trade Commission announced last week, Apple conceded that it would allow developers of subscription-based apps that provide content like movies, music, newspapers, and e-books to link within the app to other payment portals. However, that settlement did not cover iOS games—a massively lucrative market for in-app purchases.
It’s not clear, as of this moment, how wide the ramifications will be beyond the App Store specifically. Google, which also booted Fortnite from its Play Store in response to Epic’s moves, is facing a similar lawsuit that has yet to be resolved.
As flagged by the Verge, Gonzalez Rogers also resolved another baffling dispute in the case: Whether or not the Fortnite character Peely the banana, who is technically naked because his bare peel is his skin, would have to wear clothes while appearing in court. The issue arose when an Apple attorney cross-examining an Epic executive quipped that Apple had opted to show Peely wearing a tuxedo in his “Agent Peely” cosmetics, as it was more appropriate for federal court. (No one wears tuxedos to court but My Cousin Vinny, but hey.) An attorney for Epic, responding to the joke, later asked the executive if there is “there anything inappropriate about Peely without clothes,” to which he responded, “It’s just a banana man.”
Gonzalez Rogers wrote in an aside in the ruling that the court agreed that “as Peely is ‘just a banana man,’ additional attire was not necessary but informative.” So that’s settled.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated…