The lower court judgment in the Apple case is a win-win for Crypto and NFTs builders

The judgment announced by the United States federal appeals court for the Ninth Circuit in the case named Epic Games, Inc vs Apple, Inc highlights potential and major implications for NFT and crypto builders by clearing a path for them to add more functionality to their iOS apps.

As per the ruling of the court, Apple violated California’s Unfair Competition Law by disallowing application (app) developers from using any other alternative payment methods besides those of their App Store, which imposes a 30% fee on transactions.

Various experts pointed out that, if Apple doesn’t appeal the ruling, it could set an example or model of benefiting creators of crypto and nonfungible token apps because they won’t be subject to Apple’s 30% “tax.” This protection from the 30% tax was a result of Apple’s revised guidelines published in October 2022.

In the ruling on 24 April at the Ninth Circuit, the lower court found that Apple’s anti-steering rule is unlawful. The rule states, “Apps and their metadata may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase, except for Reader Apps that provide access to subscription content.”

In the judgment, the court also highlighted that the policy increased the costs of Epic’s subsidiaries’ apps that are still on Apple’s App Store and prevented other app users from becoming would-be Epic Games consumers.

The court favoured Epic on the issue of anti-steering provisions and mentioned that it shouldn’t apply to Epic Games because it terminated Epic Games’ iOS developer account in August 2020. It also ruled that Epic Games would have earned additional revenue by applying the competitor-suit “tethering test” and the consumer-suit “balancing test”.

Though the lower court backed Epic for the anti-steering issue it sided with Apple on the other issues. For example, it rejected Epic’s claim that Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines violate America’s rules against monopoly abuse, known as the Sherman Antitrust Act.

It is important to note here, Uniswap, a decentralized exchange that is one of the latest crypto projects to make its way into the App Store despite Apple initially withholding its launch in March. Thus, this move as already mentioned will allow a wide avenue for cryptocurrencies and NFTs to increase their extent across different regions and countries.

Epic Games, Inc. is an American video game and software developer and publisher based in Cary, North Carolina. The company was founded by Tim Sweeney as Potomac Computer Systems in 1991, originally located in his parents’ house in Potomac, Maryland.

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