Apple wins a last-minute stay on App Store external payments injunction

Extreme close-up photograph of a hand holding a smartphone.

Enlarge / A Fortnite loading screen displayed on an iPhone in 2018, when Apple and Epic weren’t at each other’s throats. (credit: Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images)

Apple has won a last-minute stay on an injunction that would have required it to imminently begin allowing iPhone and iPad app developers to direct users to alternative payment options.

The requirement to allow in-app linking to third-party payment systems was ordered in a September 10 ruling by the judge in the ongoing Epic Games v. Apple lawsuit. This was one of the few wins for Epic, while Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled in favor of Apple on most points.

The judge gave Apple until December 9 to make the necessary changes to allow outside payment systems, so this stay comes at the last possible moment. When Judge Gonzalez Rogers rejected Apple’s initial request to stay the ruling, the company went on to appeal to the ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. It is that appeal that has led to this new development.

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