Apple Awaits ‘Fortnite’ Ruling, Strikes Deal With Developers

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Apple has agreed to ease restrictions on the App Store for start-up developers, finalizing a deal in a class-action lawsuit as the tech giant awaits a ruling from the same judge in another App Store lawsuit by the app developer behind “Fortnite.”

The deal calls for far-reaching changes in how all developers communicate with customers – an issue that the judge brought to the forefront in the Fortnite case.

Nevertheless, Apple retained most of the controversial business practices in the App Store that have taken the tech giant to court and legislatures.

The company only lost $100 million, a tiny amount for a company worth $2.4 trillion, and a series of email marketing restrictions that legal experts found difficult to defend, even under an earlier case in the U.S. Supreme Court that allowed companies to prevent their business partners from exposing customers to new payment methods.

A group of start-up app developers sued Apple in 2019, claiming that Apple violated antitrust laws with practices such as charging commissions of up to 30%, and claiming that Apple’s restrictions prevented them from engaging in direct billing relationships with their customers.

Apple said it had submitted a settlement proposal that includes U.S. developers earning $1 million or less a year, under which the developers dropped any claims that Apple’s commissions were exorbitant.

Apple is now awaiting a ruling in the high-profile antitrust case brought by Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite.

Apple also said it is implementing changes to the App Store, including a three-year extension of last year’s policy that lowers commissions to start-up developers to 15%.

Apple said the changes would apply to all developers worldwide, not just the small U.S. developer class included in the settlement, and the tech giant also pledged to provide a $100 million aid fund for small developers.

For more information, read the original story from Reuters.

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