The lawsuit between Epic and Apple ended earlier this fall and Apple claimed to have won a crushing victory, despite having to change payment restrictions in apps offered through App Store.
In a hearing Tuesday, Apple said it needed more time to rewrite its anti-steering policies, but their argument was rejected by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. “You haven’t asked for additional time. You’ve asked for an injunction which would effectively take years,” she said. “You asked for an across-the-board stay which could take 3, 4, 5 years.”
During the hearing, Apple stated that this was the first time they opened to allow in-app links and that it would thus take them several months to get everything in place. Apple attorney Mark Perry is quoted by The Verge as having argued “We believe that these changes if Apple is forced to implement them, will upset the platform. They will harm consumers. They will harm developers. That is a fact. It is going to happen”.
Epic attorney, Gary Bornstein, however, believed that this was a pure delay tactic. “Apple does nothing unless it is forced to do it”.
Judge Rogers was also skeptical of Apple’s request. Specifically, the ruling states that Rogers questions Apple’s definition of “irreparable damage” in the form of the inclusion of external links, which according to Apple could damage consumer confidence and integrity of the iOS ecosystem.
“Consumers are quite used to linking from an app to a web browser. Other than, perhaps, needing time to establish Guidelines, Apple has provided no credible reason for the Court to believe that the injunction would cause the professed devastation.”
In her court order, Judge Rogers also writes that Apple “wants an open-ended stay with no requirement that it make any effort to comply.” She also states that Apple’s “motion is based on a selective reading of this Court’s findings and ignores all of the findings which supported the injunction”.
“For the foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES Apple’s motion to stay the injunction pending appeal. The Court also DENIES Apple’s request for a temporary stay of an additional 10 days.”
The Verge writes that Apple plans to appeal the order, quoting a spokesperson: “Apple believes no additional business changes should be required to take effect until all appeals, in this case, are resolved. We intend to ask the Ninth Circuit for a stay based on these circumstances.”