Epic versus Apple: What’s at stake if Apple loses


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If Apple loses its trial with Epic Games, it could be eventually forced into making radical changes to the App Store and how consumers spend money within its ecosystem. Here are the likeliest scenarios, and what Apple would have to do to satisfy a ruling.

Apple and Epic Games are in the middle of a courtroom battle for Apple’s control of the App Store and the iOS and iPadOS ecosystem. It’s a high-stakes fight that could lead to major changes in the way apps can be bought and used on the iPhone and iPad, as well as Apple’s revenue.

It’s a lawsuit that could potentially cost Apple billions of dollars if everything went Epic Games’ way — and not from damages. If Epic prevails in court, Apple could be forced into altering policies about what apps can or cannot do, which could impact Apple’s potential revenue in the future.

While it is up to the U.S. legal system to determine if anything needs to be done, and how far to take things if changes are needed, the changes could be profound to the user experience.

This legal fight will continue for years. Regardless who wins, there will be fierce appeals of the decision with it likely to hit the supreme court.

But, it’s entirely possible when everything is said and done, Apple may lose, and be forced to make changes to the App Store.

What does Epic want Apple to change?

Epic’s fight with Apple is complex enough to warrant three dedicated weeks of a court’s time. However, it can be boiled down to a number of key objectives that Epic and other developers could benefit from, if the court sides against Apple.

First, Epic wants the ability to have alternative payment systems available for app-related purchases. It wants to be able to give users the option to pay for their in-app purchases via a different payment provider than the one Apple offers, such as its own system.

Epic also wants to be able to tell consumers that there are alternate ways of paying for goods, and not necessarily through their device. Current policies forbid apps from such activity, like telling consumers they can get a cheaper deal from the company’s website.

Also at stake is Apple’s transaction fee for in-app purchases. At present, developers who make less than $1…