Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

Epic says that Apple isn't doing enough to comply with US App Store court orders

Apple App Store icon

Epic Games has alleged in a court filing that Apple hasn't complied with court orders, and must to more to allow developers to point users to subscriptions outside the App Store.

While the long-running Epic Games vs Apple legal battle appeared to end in mid-January 2024, the "Fortnite" maker has filed a new notice of non-compliance and said it intends to pursue a motion of contempt of court. Epic's complaint is similar to its accusation of "malicious compliance" over Apple's new EU App Store rules.

Once the Supreme Court declined to hear either Epic's or Apple's appeals, Apple was required to follow the lower court's anti-steering ruling. Specifically, Apple was to no longer prevent developers from telling customer of alternatives or other offers through their app.

As of January 16, 2024, Apple has done exactly this — but with constraints that reduce its impact. Developers must apply to Apple for what it calls Link Entitlement, and if then allowed, can only provide alternative links in the US iOS and iPadOS App Store.

Then developers can only once mention — in very specific circumstances — that there is an external payment option that is cheaper. Plus while Apple is reducing the commission it requires from developers if users buy from their external link, it's only taking it down by 3%.

"On January 16, 2024 the same day the Supreme Court denied Apple's petition for a writ of certiorari, thus exhausting its appeal of the Injunction," says Epic Games in its filing, "Apple filed a document titled 'Notice of Compliance with UCL Injunction', which described new App Store Review Guidelines and asserted that '[a]s of January 16, 2024, Apple has fully complied with the Injunction'."

"PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that Plaintiff and Counter-defendant Epic Games, Inc. ('Epic') disputes Apple's purported compliance with the Injunction," it continues, "and intends to file a motion setting forth the bases for Apple's non-compliance and requesting appropriate relief from this Court."

Epic also says that it is in talks with Apple over a briefing schedule for each side to present its case to the courts.