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Apple Terminates Epic's Developer Account, Hindering Competition on iOS Devices

In a surprising turn of events, Apple has terminated Epic Games Sweden AB's developer account, effectively preventing the development of the Epic Games Store and Fortnite for iOS devices in Europe. This move by Apple is seen as a violation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and a clear indication that they have no intention of fostering true competition on their platform.


Under the DMA, Apple is required to allow third-party app stores, such as the Epic Games Store, to operate on iOS devices. Article 6(4) of the DMA explicitly states that the "gatekeeper" (referring to Apple) must enable the installation and use of third-party software applications or stores on their operating system. By terminating Epic's developer account, Apple is eliminating one of the biggest potential competitors to the Apple App Store, thereby undermining fair competition.


Epic Games argues that if Apple continues to have the power to remove third-party marketplaces at their discretion, developers will be hesitant to utilise alternative app stores, fearing that they could be permanently cut off from their audience at any given time.


Apple's decision to terminate Epic's developer account comes shortly after Epic publicly criticised Apple's proposed DMA compliance plan. Apple cited a post by Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games, as one of the reasons for their action. This move is seen as retaliation against Epic for speaking out against Apple's unfair and illegal practices, a pattern that has been observed with other developers in the past.


Apple claims that Epic poses a threat to their ecosystem, but Epic argues that this is an unjustified excuse to terminate their account. Epic has had a long-standing relationship with Apple, with ongoing contractual agreements dating back to 2010 for Epic's games, Unreal Engine, and other creator tools. They have collaborated on various projects and Apple has even showcased Epic's games and technology at developer conferences and other events.

The DMA was specifically designed to address the power imbalance that Apple currently holds, allowing them to block competing stores and apps. Epic Games vows to continue fighting for true competition and choice on iOS devices, not just in Europe but worldwide.


The sequence of events leading up to this termination includes Epic's official request for a developer account through Apple's process, which was initially approved. Epic has been transparent about their intentions for the developer account and the Epic Games Store, both in direct communications with Apple and public statements. Despite their assurance of compliance with Apple's developer agreements, Apple's lawyers sent a letter terminating Epic Games Sweden AB's account.

 
  • Apple terminates Epic Games Sweden AB's developer account, preventing the development of the Epic Games Store and Fortnite for iOS devices in Europe.

  • This move is seen as a violation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and a hindrance to fair competition on Apple's platform.

  • Epic Games argues that Apple's power to remove third-party marketplaces at their discretion discourages developers from utilising alternative app stores.


Source: EPIC GAMES

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