Apple’s ban on outside payments ruled illegal in likely victory for NFTs, crypto and NFTs

Apple’s ban on outside payments ruled illegal in likely victory for NFTs, crypto and NFTs

Developers are free to send app users to their systems for purchases, unless Apple appeals and the ruling is overturned.


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Apple was found to have violated California state laws on competition by preventing app developers from using other in-app payment options than Apple’s own, which include a 30% fee.

This decision could allow cryptocurrency and non-fungible token (NFT), projects to add new functionality to their iOS applications.

The United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit rendered its ruling on April 24, 2018 in the case of Apple vs Epic Games – the creator of Fortnite.

The court upheld a decision from a lower court in 2021, and stated that Apple’s antisteering provision hurt Epic.

Apple’s anti-steering policy states that iOS developers are not allowed to communicate payment methods outside of apps through certain mechanisms, such as in-app hyperlinks.

The court found that the policy had increased the cost of Epic Games subsidiaries’ apps on Apple’s App store and prevented other users from becoming Epic Games customers.

Tim Sweeney tweeted on 24 April that the ruling allows iOS developers to “free themselves” by allowing consumers to use alternative payment methods.

Apple won the majority of the cases, but it lost its argument that Epic Games should not be subject to the anti-steering laws because Epic Games terminated their iOS developer account in August 2019.

The court found that Epic Games could have earned more revenue, if Apple had not implemented its policy. It did this by applying both the “tethering” test for competitor suits and the “balancing” test for consumer suits.

The court examined Apple’s antisteering violation from a different angle. It ruled that consumers would have gone directly to Epic Games if they had known about its lower commission rate, which is 12% compared to Apple’s 30%.

The Epic Games Store will generate more revenue if consumers are aware of lower app prices that developers can offer.

Apple could be setting a precedent for non-fungible token and crypto apps that are not subject to Apple’s 30% tax.

Robinhood Wallet now available on iOS, with Android support coming soon

Uniswap, a decentralized crypto exchange, is among the most recent projects to enter the App Store despite Apple’s initial withholding of its launch in March.

About two months ago the European Union enacted new anti-monopolistic rules that required Apple to allow third-party apps stores on its devices. This allows consumers to bypass Apple’s 30% commission.

Apple, however, interfered in December with NFT transactions that were sent through Coinbase’s Self-Custody Wallet, claiming it was entitled to “collect 30 percent of the gas fee” via in-app purchases.

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