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Apple shares recover ground after Epic ruling slide

The Apple Inc logo is shown outside the company’s 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S. June 13, 2016. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

Sept 13 (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) shares inched higher on Monday after losing about $84 billion in market value in the previous session on the back of a U.S. judge’s mixed decision in the iPhone maker’s fight with “Fortnite” game maker Epic Games.

Shares were up about 1% before the opening bell on Monday. They had closed down 3.3% on Friday.

The court issued a permanent injunction that would let app developers route players to alternative platforms to make payments, allowing them to avoid Apple’s 30% App Store fees. read more

Analysts said that while the ruling had the potential to eat into Apple’s services revenue, a big driver of growth in recent years, any hit was still unclear, would be spaced out in time and liable to be only a small fraction of overall income.

“In the end, I expect this to have at most a 2% headwind to overall revenue and 4% to earnings,” said Gene Munster, managing partner at tech-centric VC firm Loup Ventures.

“After the first year of these changes, app store growth rates will return to normal. Bottom line, it’s at most a one year headwind and does not change the big picture of where Apple is going over the next 5 years.”

Wedbush analysts also estimated that in a worst case scenario, Apple would lose roughly 3% of total revenues and would be closer to about a 1% revenue and profit headwind over the next few years, given a vast majority of consumers will continue to use the App Store for in-app purchases.

On Sunday, Epic said in a legal filing that it plans to appeal a ruling in the antitrust case. read more

Reporting by Nivedita Balu and Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Patrick Graham

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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