An appeals court has paused one of the most consequential parts of the Epic v. Apple ruling, placing an stay on the enforcement of the injunction issued by the lower court. As a result of the injunction, Apple can maintain its IAP system as the sole source of in-app payments on iOS, despite the district court’s earlier ruling that the exclusive arrangement is illegal.
The injunction, issued Wednesday afternoon, does not reverse the earlier ruling, but puts enforcement on hold until the appeals court can fully hear the case, a process that will likely take months.
“Apple has demonstrated, at minimum, that its appeal raises serious questions on the merits of the district court’s determination,” the ruling reads. “Therefore, we grant Apple’s motion to stay part (i) of paragraph (1) of the permanent injunction. The stay will remain in effect until the mandate issues in this appeal.”
In September, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers required Apple to allow third-party payment systems on iOS apps as part of a broader ruling that dismissed antitrust allegations brought by Fortnite developer Epic Games. Specifically, the court ruled that, beginning December 9th, Apple could no longer prohibit “buttons or external links” that direct users to payment systems outside the App Store, as the company previously had in its app store guidelines.
Apple had previously moved for an injunction from the district court to pause its order, but was denied.