Epic Games has lost another battle with Apple over App Store rules.

Epic Games and Apple have been at odds over Apple’s App Store standards since 2020, when Epic Games chose to flagrantly breach the guidelines that prohibit apps from circumventing the in-app purchase system. Epic Games done so in the hopes of starting a lengthy legal battle, but the outcome has not been favourable to Epic.

In 2021, the court presiding over the case ruled in favour of Apple, saying that the company had not violated antitrust law and was not a monopolist. Epic Games quickly filed an appeal, claiming that the original court “reached the wrong answer” and “made multiple legal errors.” Unfortunately for Epic Games, the appeals court today upheld the initial verdict, siding with Apple.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, according to Bloomberg, dismissed Epic’s assertions that the App Store restrictions violate federal antitrust law by not permitting third-party app markets. Although this is essentially a victory for Apple, the court did affirm the first court’s finding on Apple’s anti-steering guidelines.

Apple has been ordered to make adjustments to the App Store that will allow developers to use metadata buttons, links, and other calls to action to send customers to purchasing mechanisms outside of the App Store, paving the door for developers to incorporate alternative payment alternatives.

“There is a lively and important debate about the role played in our economy and democracy by online transaction platforms with market power,” the appeals court stated. “Our job as a federal court of appeals, however, is not to resolve that debate – nor could we even try.” Instead, we faithfully applied existing precedent to the facts in this instance.”

Apple was entitled to postpone App Store upgrades until the conclusion of the appeals trial because it had appealed the portion of the verdict that did not go in its favour. To comply with the court’s order, Apple will undoubtedly need to make changes to the App Store in the near future.

The proposed App Store modifications, according to Apple, might “upset the careful balance between developers and customers provided by the App Store,” causing irreparable harm to Apple and users. Apple also stated that it would require time to resolve the “complex and rapidly evolving legal, technological, and economic issues” that the update would cause.

Apple announced in a statement to MacRumors that the judgement supports their “resounding victory” over Epic Games.

Today’s decision reaffirms Apple’s resounding victory in this case, with nine of ten claims having been decided in Apple’s favor. For the second time in two years, a federal court has ruled that Apple abides by antitrust laws at the state and federal levels. The App Store continues to promote competition, drive innovation, and expand opportunity, and we’re proud of its profound contributions to both users and developers around the world. We respectfully disagree with the court’s ruling on the one remaining claim under state law and are considering further review.

Apple announced in a statement to MacRumors that the judgement supports their “resounding victory” over Epic Games.