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Justice Kagan order: Apple doesn’t have to change app store terms while battling Epic in court

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By Brian Fung, CNN

Washington (CNN) — A judicial order forcing Apple to change some of its app store terms will not need to take immediate effect while litigation over the decision plays out, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan said on Wednesday, handing a temporary defeat to opponents of the company.

The order is a setback for “Fortnite”-maker Epic Games as Apple appeals a lower-court ruling that found the iPhone-maker had violated California competition law.

Epic Games declined to comment on Kagan’s decision, which occurred in the Supreme Court’s so-called “shadow docket” and was not referred to the full court.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple had previously been ordered not to interfere with efforts by iOS app developers to inform their users within their apps about alternatives to Apple’s in-app payment system, which allows Apple to take a commission.

In April, a federal appeals court upheld the order that, if allowed to take effect, would prevent Apple from intervening when developers include “buttons, external links or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms” apart from Apple’s own channels.

The appeals court temporarily paused enforcement of the injunction while Apple appeals the ruling to the Supreme Court. But last month, Epic Games filed an emergency request to the court calling for the order to be put into effect immediately, saying the public would otherwise be harmed by Apple’s practices.

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