Citing Epic Games’ “past and ongoing behavior,” Apple terminates developer account

With Apple recently terminating Epic Games’ developer account, the ongoing conflict between the two companies has taken a drastically different turn. This action highlights the fierce rivalry between the two tech giants and represents a major escalation in the conflict.

Epic Games vs. Apple

Apple’s decision to terminate Epic Games’ developer account stems from what it perceives as a pattern of untrustworthy behavior on Epic’s part. Citing breaches of contractual obligations and concerns over Epic’s compliance with the Apple Developer Program’s terms and conditions, Apple exercised its right to terminate the account. This move effectively prevents Epic Games from launching its own app store on iOS devices in Europe, a plan that was in direct response to Apple’s compliance with the Digital Markets Act.

Will Epic Games’ ban hurt gamers? Developer account termination sparks fears of App Store monopoly

The termination of Epic’s developer account is the latest development in a legal battle that began in 2020 when Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store due to Epic Games’ introduction of a direct payment option. Epic promptly filed a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of anti-competitive behavior. This legal conflict has brought to light broader concerns about App Store fees and the dominance of platforms like the Apple App Store.

Apple - Epic Games

In response to Epic’s accusations and criticisms, Apple has defended its actions, citing court rulings and contractual rights to terminate developer accounts. The company maintains that Epic’s behavior justified the termination and is indicative of a lack of trustworthiness on Epic’s part. Additionally, Apple has emphasized its efforts to comply with regulatory requirements such as the Digital Markets Act in Europe, despite criticism from Epic and other developers.

Epic’s egregious breach of its contractual obligations to Apple led courts to determine that Apple has the right to terminate “any or all of Epic Games’ wholly owned subsidiaries, affiliates, and/or other entities under Epic Games’ control at any time and at Apple’s sole discretion.” In light of Epic’s past and ongoing behavior, Apple chose to exercise that right.

Epic Games has vehemently opposed Apple’s actions, characterizing the termination of its developer account as a serious violation of the Digital Markets Act and an attempt to stifle competition on iOS devices. From Epic’s statement:

In terminating Epic’s developer account, Apple is taking out one of the largest potential competitors to the Apple App Store. They are undermining our ability to be a viable competitor and they are showing other developers what happens when you try to compete with Apple or are critical of their unfair practices.

If Apple maintains its power to kick a third party marketplace off iOS at its sole discretion, no reasonable developer would be willing to utilize a third party app store, because they could be permanently separated from their audience at any time.

The company has accused Apple of undermining its ability to compete and of retaliating against it for speaking out against Apple’s practices. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has expressed frustration with Apple’s demands for assurances and its attempts to silence criticism.

About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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