A US judge on Friday ordered Apple to loosen control of its App Store, barring it from obliging developers to use its payments system, in a high-profile antitrust case brought by Fortnite maker Epic Games.
Epic filed its case aiming to break the grip of the iPhone maker on its App Store, in the latest assault on Apple's tightly controlled empire.
Friday's order says Apple is permanently barred from prohibiting developers from including in their apps "external links or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms."
The two firms clashed over whether Apple has the right to set ground rules, control payment systems and kick out apps from its marketplace that fail to comply.
Also at stake was Apple's slice of revenue from iPhone apps of as much as 30 percent.
Apple booted Fortnite from its online mobile marketplace after Epic released an update that dodged revenue sharing with the iPhone maker.
Apple does not allow users of its popular devices to download apps from anywhere but its App Store.
The case in federal court came with Apple feeling pressure from a wide range of app makers over its control of the App Store, which critics say represents monopolistic behavior.