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    Judge loosens Apple’s grip on app store in Epic decision

    San Ramon, Calif. — A federal judge ordered Apple to dismantle part of the competitive barricade guarding its closely run app store, threatening one of the iPhone maker’s biggest moneymakers. It could potentially also save app developers billions of dollars that could encourage them to lower the prices paid by consumers.

    The challenge was mounted by Epic Games, best known as the maker of Fortnite, the popular video game played by about 400 million people worldwide. Apple shares dipped sharply immediately upon the issuance of the ruling and was trading down 3% Friday. Epic, based in Cary, North Carolina, is a private company.

    The legal battle targeted commissions of up to 30% that Apple has been charging on digital transactions within apps. Such transactions can include everything from Netflix or Spotify subscriptions to the sale of digital item such as songs, movies or virtual tchotchkes for video games.

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