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

By MICHAEL LIEDTKE AP Technology Reporter

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge ordered Apple to dismantle a lucrative part of the competitive barricade guarding its closely run app store, but rejected allegations that the company has been running an illegal monopoly that throttles competition and innovation.

The ruling issued Friday continues to chip away at the so-called "walled garden" that Apple has built around its crown jewel, the iPhone, and its app store, without toppling it completely.

But the 185-page decision also provided Apple with some vindication in its legal battle with Epic Games, in that the judge didn't brand it a monopolist or require it to allow competing stores to offer iPhone apps.

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