Analyst: Supreme Court won’t rule on App Store fees until mid-2019

Developers awaiting the Supreme Court’s ruling in a case against Apple over its App Store fees may have to wait until mid-2019.

Benjamin Schachter, Analyst at Macquarie Research, expects the verdict will be heard soon but the ruling won’t be made until early next year. Furthermore, any potential financial impact will be at least a year away.

The case against Apple was filed in 2011 by a group of app developers who allege that Apple has engaged in anti-competitive behaviours in taking a cut from developers' sale proceeds. Any ruling would affect other stores, including the Play Store.

Schachter wrote in a research note:

"If Apple wins, it is likely that a similar lawsuit will be filed on behalf of developers, not consumers. We believe that under either scenario, this case will call heightened attention to the issue of App Store economics to investors' analysis, although the Supreme Court decision will not directly impact the model."

There’s a growing backlash over the 30 percent cut both Apple and Google, as providers of the leading app stores, take from sales and in-app purchases.

Epic Games, developer of video game sensation Fortnite, made the controversial decision to bypass the Play Store for its Android release.

When it released on iOS, Fortnite earned more than $100 million in revenue in its first 90 days of availability. Only the release of Clash Royale beat Fortnite to reaching this milestone.

That means, in just the first 90 days, Apple received $30 million from the launch of Fortnite on iOS.

"30 percent is disproportionate to the cost of the services these stores perform, such as payment processing, download bandwidth, and customer service," said Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney.

Earlier this year, Microsoft made the decision to slash its cut of Windows Store sales to just five percent – although it only applies to apps, not games.

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