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Apple was granted a delay today to its deadline to make changes to the App Store following the massive antitrust lawsuit with Epic Games that was settled earlier this year. Now it will no longer have to make those changes by December 9, and it’s unclear at the moment if it will have to make them at all.
The Apple vs Epic case was settled with a ruling from Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers earlier this year. The long and short of the decision is that Apple must allow third-party payment options on the App Store, and must make the necessary changes by December 9 of this year. As one might imagine, Apple was not happy with this outcome and asked Judge Rogers for a delay. Judge Rogers denied it. Apple has also appealed her ruling. Now, just a few hours before the new payment options would have had to go live in the App Store, Apple has gotten a reprieve.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the delay. It said that Apple will not have to make the changes to the App Store until after the appeal is settled. “Apple has also made a sufficient showing of irreparable harm,” reads the decision. “Therefore, we grant Apple’s motion to stay part (i) of paragraph (1) of the permanent injunction. The stay will remain in effect until the mandate issues in this appeal.”
Depending on how long the appeal takes, it could be months or even years before Apple has to make changes to the App Store — if it does at all. The court’s decision implies that it may be open to overturning the original ruling: “Apple has demonstrated, at minimum, that its appeal raises serious questions on the merits of the district court’s determination that Epic Games, Inc. failed to show Apple’s conduct violated any antitrust laws but did show that the same conduct violated California’s Unfair Competition Law.”