U.S. judge eases Apple's in-app restrictions

A U.S. judge on Friday struck down some of Apple’s restrictions on how developers can collect in-app payments - in an antitrust lawsuit "Fortnite" creator Epic Games had with the company.

But the ruling does not require Apple to let app makers use their own in-app payment systems, one of Epic's top requests, and allows Apple to continue to charge commissions of 15% to 30% for its own in-app payment system.

Epic said it would appeal, with CEO Tim Sweeney tweeting that the ruling "isn't a win for developers or for consumers."

The ruling vastly expands a concession that Apple made with Japanese regulators last week, which says Apple cannot bar developers from providing buttons or links in their apps that direct customers to other ways to pay outside of Apple's own in-app purchase system.

The judge in this case ruled Epic failed to demonstrate Apple is an illegal monopolist, but did show the smartphone giant engaged in “anticompetitive conduct” under California laws.

Apple responded in a statement saying (quote): "As the Court recognized ‘success is not illegal. Apple faces rigorous competition in every segment in which we do business, and we believe customers and developers choose us because our products and services are the best in the world."

Apple shares were down roughly 3% at the end of trading on Friday.

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