Judge Denies Apple’s Motion to Stay App Store Antisteering Policy Changes in Epic Case

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, in a ruling earlier this week:

The Court is in receipt of Apple Inc.’s Motion to Stay part of the Court’s injunction pending resolution of all appeals, specifically that portion prohibiting developers from including “in their apps and their metabuttons, [sic] external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing [“IAP”].” (See Dkt. No. 821.)

Having considered all the filings, and oral argument, the Court finds Apple has failed to satisfy its burden, and the request as framed is DENIED. In short, Apple’s motion is based on a selective reading of this Court’s findings and ignores all of the findings which supported the injunction, namely incipient antitrust conduct including supercompetitive commission rates resulting in extraordinarily high operating margins and which have not been correlated to the value of its intellectual property. This incipient antitrust conduct is the result, in part, of the antisteering policies which Apple has enforced to harm competition. As a consequence, the motion is fundamentally flawed. Further, even if additional time was warranted to comply with the limited injunction, Apple did not request additional time other than ten days to appeal this ruling. Thus, the Court does not consider the option of additional time, other than the requested ten days.

“Metabuttons” is a typo — the original ruling used the (already technically ambiguous) term “metadata buttons” there.

It’s a near-certainty that Apple is going to appeal this. But if the appeal doesn’t work, December 9 is just four weeks away.

Friday, 12 November 2021