Judge tells Apple to review app billing system

A US court has issued an injunction that says tech giant Apple will no longer be allowed to prohibit app developers from including links that take users away from Apple's own in-app purchasing.

A federal district court in California on Friday ruled on a lawsuit filed by Epic Games, the American developer of the popular online game Fortnite.

Epic filed an antitrust case against Apple after the IT giant deleted the game from its App Store.

That was in response to the game maker's move to avoid Apple's billing system and start its own payment service.

The judge rejected Epic's claim that Apple is a monopolist, saying in the ruling "Success is not illegal."

But the court found that Apple is '' engaging in anticompetitive conduct under California's competition laws.''

It said that Apple's anti-steering provisions are not competitive, and called for a ''nationwide remedy'' to replace them.

That means it would be easier for developers to avoid paying Apple up to 30 percent of fees they earn.

That could have a big impact on the tech giant's business model.

The court says the ruling will take effect in 90 days if there is no appeal.

Epic said it will continue its legal fight and appeal.

Apple said the judgment was a complete victory but made no comment on the portion of the ruling that will make it easier for app developers to avoid Apple's commissions.