Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report will have to allow alternative payment websites for digital transactions through the App Store, a federal judge ruled, rejecting the company's appeal to stay a previous decision.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, Calif., means that developers could begin using alternative payment services starting in December. That in turn could potentially enable companies to reduce the 15% to 30% fee Apple charges for digital transactions.
"This incipient antitrust conduct is the result, in part, of the antisteering policies which Apple has enforced to harm competition," Gonzales Rogers said.
Apple has argued that it would need more time to to build new software in policies to replace its payment systems. The judge disagreed.
"Further, even if additional time was warranted to comply with the limited injunction, Apple did not request additional time other than ten days to appeal this ruling. Thus, the Court does not consider the option of additional time," Gonzales Rogers said.
In September, Gonzales Rogers ruled in favor of Apple on nine of 10 counts in an antitrust action brought by Epic Games. The videogame company sued Apple, seeking the ability to install its own payment method on iPhones.
Gonzales Rogers ruled that Apple demonstrated incipient antitrust behavior, but ruled in favor of the company on most of the counts.
Apple is blocked from forcing developers to use the App Store's payment system. The Cupertino, Calif., tech giant has not yet explained how its App Store policies would change under the order.
Apple shares at last check were off 1.4% at $148.49.