Publishers should be okay despite Apple’s increasingly aggressive App Store policies

Epic Games’ litigation against Apple’s App Store policies, which I have previously discussed, pertains to the ultrastrict control Apple wields over its App Store. Every app and update must obtain Apple’s approval, and if users wish to make any digital purchases in an app, they are required to utilize Apple’s in-app purchasing system, through which Apple takes a sizeable percentage of the payment. Epic Games has taken issue with this, arguing that Apple’s monopoly over app distribution and monetization violates antitrust law. Though Apple has countered this by stating it is not a monopoly, and that the tight control is needed to safeguard users’ privacy and digital security.

Although Epic Games is not a news publisher, its grievances represent the long-standing complaints from publishers regarding the 30% share. Their other primary concern is that by using Apple’s in-app purchasing system, the financial relationship becomes with Apple, restricting the amount of information a publisher can gather about its customers.

Three years following Epic’s lawsuit, the case has navigated through the American judicial system and on Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court elected not to hear appeals from both Apple and Epic, allowing the lower court rulings to stand.

Despite this setback, Epic did achieve a small victory in that Apple is no longer able to prevent developers from linking to their websites from their apps. However, Apple unveiled a new policy where a substantial fee would need to be paid if revenue is generated through those links.

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