Law prevents Apple from threatening Epic, EU commissioner says

Apple appeared to threaten Epic Games when the company closed its developer account for the second time, and cited public criticism of the developer iPhone manufacturer as one of the reasons.

The European Commissioner, who heads the executive branch of the European Union, has now suggested that this violates the law…

Background in two paragraphs

Epic Games violated App Store rules when it introduced its own in-app payment system , seeking to avoid Apple's 30 percent cut. In response, Apple closed the developer's account and both companies went to court.

The end result of the US court case and the EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) is that Apple must allow third party party app stores. The company reluctantly announced that it would do so, but under terms that it called malicious compliance.

Apple threatens Epic

Apple threatens Epic

Epic opened a new developer account on the App Store, and Apple closed it, saying in part that the iPhone maker doesn't trust the gaming company to follow the rules this time.

Phil Schiller, however, went further. email and quoted Tim Sweeney's tweet criticizing Apple.

You called our DMA compliance plan “hot bullshit,” a “horror show,” and ” a new insidious example of malicious subjugation.” And you complained about what you called “garbage fees” and “Apple taxes.”

The obvious implication here was that Epic had better not criticize Apple publicly if it knows that good for her. this.

EU Commissioner is not at a loss for words

EU Commissioner Thierry Breton yesterday tweeted a red light emoji and wrote:

Under #DMA, there is no room for gatekeeper threats to silence developers. I have asked our teams to give priority consideration to Apple terminating Epic's developer account.

One of the DMA's architects, German MEP Andreas Schwab, said Apple's actions amounted to a company that effectively is asking to become the first gatekeeper to be sanctioned under the new law. For a wired network:

Schwab, who led negotiations to finalize the DMA on behalf of the EU Parliament, says this makes Apple a likely first target for non-compliance. “[It] gives me a very clear expectation that they want to be first,” he told WIRED. “Apple's approach to all of this is a little strange, and that's why it's a low hanging fruit.”

The DMA allows Apple to be fined billions of dollars if it is found to be breaking the law.

9to5Mac's Opinion

This is a mess.

Best comment by Eric

Liked by 18 people

Traditionally, Apple management and marketing, and especially Phil Schiller, have been very smart and sensitive in handling difficult situations, but it seems that they completely lost the plot. Not only is it disappointing, but it's also confusing how they are now constantly misinterpreting the situation, creating even worse situations and creating a bad public perception of the company.

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As we said, Apple is more likely to would have been in safe territory if he had simply told Epic, “You've broken our rules before, we're not sure you won't break them again,” and left it at that. If the opportunity had been left open for negotiations about what protections would be required to allow Epic to return to the App Store, the matter would have been quietly resolved.

But citing Epic's public criticism of Apple as a factor The decision has turned it into a much more contentious issue.

Apple used to fight two separate battles: one in the US over Epic and the other in Europe over DMA. By taking this position, Apple has effectively combined two battles into one, and now it has to fight both in the EU.

Photo by Elti Meshau on Unsplash

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