Apple said it complied with the order to open the App Store

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The federal judge in Apple Epic trial ordered the iPhone maker to loosen its anti-driving rules and comply with a previous injunction to open its App Store to rival forms of payment.

The decision deals a severe blow Apple this could mean the App Store’s biggest forced change since its creation more than ten years ago.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said on Tuesday that Apple was engaging in “incipient antitrust conduct” by banning app developers from showing customers external links to pay for digital goods outside the technology company’s payment system.

He said these anti-steering rules have resulted in “super competitive commission rates resulting in extraordinarily high operating margins. [that have] it has not been correlated with the value of its intellectual property “.

An Apple spokesperson on Tuesday said the company would seek another suspension in the appeals court. “Apple believes no further business changes should be required to take effect until all appeals in this case have been resolved. We intend to ask the Ninth Circuit [court of appeals] for a stay under these circumstances, “the spokesman said.

The Coalition for App Fairness, whose 60+ members include Epic Games, hailed the court’s latest ruling.

“While this is a modest concession that does not address the root of Apple’s anti-competitive behavior, this injunction will provide much-needed relief to our members and developers around the world,” said Executive Director Meghan DiMuzio. “No company, no matter how large or powerful, should be allowed to dictate how and when other companies communicate with their customers.”

Judge Rogers mostly had ruled in favor of Apple in September, denying nine of Epic’s 10 claims that the tech giant operated an illegal monopoly. Apple called the verdict a “resounding victory”.

But last month the company appealed to an earl lost, saying an injunction to allow developers to add links and buttons to non-Apple payment options “would irreparably harm both Apple and consumers.” Apple had asked for a stay until the appeals court ruled on the matter.

Judge Rogers said Apple’s claims of “irreparable harm” were “exaggerated”.

He added: “Consumers are quite used to connecting from an app to a web browser. Aside, perhaps, the need for time to establish guidelines, Apple has provided no credible reason for the court to believe that the injunction would cause the alleged devastation. “

In court on Tuesday, Judge Rogers said she was against Apple’s request because the appeals process would likely take “three, four, five years”.

He also denied Apple’s request for a 10-day extension to appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Pending the appeal, the injunction ordering Apple to loosen its grip will take effect in a month.

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