Two executives banned from Apple’s conference center after blocking games

Two Apple executives have been banned from Apple’s conference center for life after it was found that they blocked free games from the app store for download during the company’s previous earnings call. In its latest statement, Apple is hoping to delay some of the changes to the app store rules that would allow the company to reinstate in-app purchases.

The popular Trading Heroes game was one of many games that Apple quietly pulled from the app store during its last earnings call in October because of legal disputes between the app’s developer and gaming company EA. Since Apple halted the app’s in-app purchases, trading games like these have taken off, and a New York Times investigation found that EA was making over $17 million a month through in-app purchases.

During a conference call with analysts, Apple senior vice president Philip Schiller defended Apple’s approach to games: “That’s our business. We are not regulating video games,” he said, although he admitted that the company would take responsibility for providing answers to queries about its policies, “our anger, our outrage, we’re all in the same space,” he said.

On April 11, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California dismissed a lawsuit claiming that Apple blocked the games for trade purposes and and ordered Schiller and former corporate vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue to pay a $4.2 million penalty. In a statement, the company argued that Rogers’s ruling was “inconsistent with past practice at Apple,” and expressed concern that the ban should not be immediately lifted.

Though Apple objected to a permanent ban on the executives, it made clear that it would maintain the ban, since doing so was “the only action that fully preserves the confidentiality of Apple’s deliberations.”

On its App Store review page, the company also said that it had encouraged game makers to “accept” a policy statement forbidding app makers from making vague and nonspecific statements that might induce people to download and use their apps.

Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media, which owns The New York Observer.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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