Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers has ruled to issue a permanent injunction in the now infamous Epic v. Apple case this morning, granting developers the right to bypass the tech giant's own payment systems, dealing a huge blow to Apple's App Store business model.
The order is permanent, and states that Apple is now "restrained and enjoined from prohibiting developers from including in their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing and (ii) communicating with customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app."
This effectively means that app developers can now bypass Apple's payment system for in-app purchases, denying the company their mandatory cut of any transactions. Epic has been fighting to remove what it sees as a "monopolistic tax" from the app store, going so far as to blatantly ignore the rules and implement their own payment provider for in-game purchases in Fortnite. That move ultimately lead to Apple kicking them off their store.
The legal battle that ensued has been a long and brutal one, with Apple arguing that the mandatory fees are necessary to make the App Store viable. The ruling will stretch far beyond just the iOS store, however. It's now likely that Google will face a similar ruling in their separate legal case with Epic, and other app stores and marketplaces will likely have to follow suit, given the legal prescience now set.