American phone maker Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has asked U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers to put a hold on orders related to the antitrust case brought by Epic Games, according to Reuters. Shares closed at $142.90 on October 8.
The “Fortnite” game creator accused Apple of anti-competitive practices by limiting iPhone users to use Apple’s in-app payment system to pay for online purchases.
In September, the judge ruled in favor of Apple after a week-long trial but maintained that Apple would need to make changes to its in-app payment system. (See Insider’s Hot Stocks on TipRanks)
If the order is upheld, starting December 9, Apple will have to change some of its App Store policies and allow users access to other payment alternatives to its in-app payment system. Apple will have to allow app developers to provide buttons or options through which users can make informed decisions by viewing alternative prices.
Reuters reported that on Friday, Apple asked the U.S. Judge to halt the orders and said that it was preparing an appeal, which could take a year to reach a conclusion. The hearing with Gonzalez Rogers on Apple’s stay request is expected in early November.
According to Apple, the order was not in the best interests of both the company and its users and said, “The requested stay will allow Apple to protect consumers and safeguard its platform while the company works through the complex and rapidly evolving legal, technological, economic issues.”
Meanwhile, Apple has already started finding alternatives to satisfy Judge Gonzalez Rogers’ request to provide more transparency to consumers, along with keeping them safe from scams and continuing to collect commissions. Additionally, Apple has decided to keep “Fortnite” off its App store until the case is resolved.
Separately, Epic Games is appealing the Judge’s decision that ruled in favor of Apple and found that Apple did not violate antitrust laws. Opening arguments are scheduled for December 12.
Recently, UBS analyst David Vogt reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $175, implying 22.5% upside potential to current levels.
Vogt stated that the long wait times for Apple’s iPhone 13 are due to the combined effects of supply-chain issues and strong demand.
The analyst also noted that compared to last year, wait times have increased for all four of its products including Pro, Max, Base, and Mini. Also, all the key regions across the U.S., China, Japan, and parts of Europe are facing the same delays.
Overall, the stock commands a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 19 Buys and 6 Holds. The average Apple price target of $169.64 implies 18.7% upside potential to current levels. Shares have gained 14.9% over the past year.
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