EU demands Apple justify blocking Epic Games

“Fortnite” announcement (source: Epic Games)

European Union regulators have asked Apple to explain why it is blocking Epic Games from launching an online store, saying the move may be in violation of the law.

In August 2020, Apple initially closed Epic Games' developer account due to violating App Store policies. This led to years of legal battles, but since the EU required Apple to allow third-party app stores in its region, Epic Games applied. for a new developer account.

Epic Games was one of the first companies to announce that it would release a third-party EU-only competitor to Apple's App Store. However, Apple rejected this application for a developer account and completely blocked Epic Games from returning to the iPhone.

In emails released by Epic Games, Apple called the company “credibly untrustworthy” and pointed to its previous contract violations. However, according to Reuters, EU regulators say this is not enough and have now asked Apple to explain its actions.

“We have sought further clarification from Apple on this matter in accordance with the DMA (Digital Markets Act),” an EU spokesman told Reuters.

While the EU could always ask Apple about its actions, this request is more important because it came on March 7, 2024, which was the first day the DMA came into effect. The EU now has regulatory powers to fine Apple for non-compliance, something the firm's rivals have already accused it of doing.

“We are also assessing whether Apple's actions raise concerns about its compliance with the DSA [Digital Services Act] and P2B [Platforms for Business],” the EU spokesman continued, “given the links between membership in the developer program and an app store under the designation VLOP [Very Large Online Platform].”

In response to Reuters, Apple reiterated its position that Epic Games has a history of repeatedly violating contracts it previously agreed to.

“Epic's flagrant violation of its contractual obligations to Apple has resulted in the courts finding that Apple has the right to terminate the operations of “any and all subsidiaries, affiliates and/or other wholly owned entities of Epic Games , within Epic Games.” “Control at any time and at Apple's sole discretion,” an Apple spokesperson said.

“In light of Epic's past and current conduct,” the spokesperson continued, “Apple has decided to exercise this right “

In addition, Apple has amended its requirements for developers to manage competing app stores. It has also added a one-time provision allowing developers to revert to using Apple's own App Store exclusively.

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