Epic Games’ developer account restored by Apple amidst EU pressure

In a recent turn of events, Apple has decided to restore Epic Games’ developer account following significant pressure from the European Union. This decision marks a significant victory for Epic Games and signals a step towards enforcing fair competition in the digital marketplace.

Epic Games

Apple’s recent termination of Epic Games’ developer account marked the latest twist in a long-running legal battle. The dispute began in 2020 when Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic introduced a direct payment option, bypassing Apple’s in-app purchase system. This move prompted Epic to sue Apple, accusing the tech giant of anti-competitive behavior.

Epic Games hails developer account reinstatement as DMA victory

The conflict between Apple and Epic Games escalated when Epic announced plans to launch its own game store on iOS devices in Europe. This move was a response to the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the EU, which compelled Apple to open up its app ecosystem.

Apple’s initial response was to terminate Epic’s developer account, citing concerns over Epic’s compliance with Apple’s rules and regulations. This move sparked outrage from Epic, who claimed it was a violation of the DMA and an attempt to stifle competition.

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.

The European Commission swiftly intervened, urging Apple to reconsider its decision and emphasizing the importance of enforcing the DMA. This pressure ultimately led to Apple’s decision to reinstate Epic’s developer account.

The reinstatement of Epic’s developer account is not just a victory for the gaming company but also a significant development in the ongoing battle for fair competition in the tech industry. From Epic’s blog post:

Apple has told us and committed to the European Commission that they will reinstate our developer account. This sends a strong signal to developers that the European Commission will act swiftly to enforce the Digital Markets Act and hold gatekeepers accountable. We are moving forward as planned to launch the Epic Games Store and bring Fortnite back to iOS in Europe. Onward!

While the immediate impact of this decision is felt by Epic Games and Apple, its implications extend far beyond these two companies. It sets a precedent for future disputes between tech companies and regulatory bodies, highlighting the importance of accountability.

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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