Apple changes decision to allow Epic Games Store in iPhones, iPads in EU

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Under pressure from European regulators, Apple took a step back in its feud with Epic Games on Friday, clearing the way for Epic to open its game store on iPhone and iPad in Europe.

Earlier this week, Apple took steps to block Epic from launching the store and bringing back the popular game Fortnite, which Apple banned in 2020 after Epic broke the iPhone maker's in-app payment rules in protest. Was removed from the App Store.

Apple's decision to open its doors to Epic follows the European Union's Thursday deadline for Big Tech companies to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a set of rules that allow Apple and Google to Prevents controlling which apps are distributed on iOS and devices. Android operating system.

EU industry chief Thierry Breton said regulators warned Apple earlier this week about the iPhone maker's move to block Epic's potential recall.

“I am satisfied that following our contacts Apple decided to reverse its decision on the Epic boycott. Since day two, #DMA is already showing very solid results!” Breton said on the X social media platform.

Epic and Apple have been in a legal battle since 2020, when the gaming firm alleged that Apple's practice of charging commissions of up to 30 percent on in-app payments on its iOS devices violated US antitrust rules. Epic lost its court battle against Apple, and the game maker deliberately broke Apple's rules in protest, leading to it being banned from Apple devices.

Epic's win on Friday puts it well short of what it wants from Apple.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has criticized Apple's plans to comply with the DMA, under which Apple says it still has the right to exclude third-party app marketplaces from its devices in certain circumstances. And Fortnite is unavailable in the App Store in the United States.

For its part, Apple is grappling with the erosion of its App Store business model, and has told investors that iPhone sales this quarter will be billions of dollars lower than Wall Street expected.

The most recent dispute between Apple and Epic involves Apple's developer accounts, which are typically a small but necessary administrative step for developers before they can sell apps on Apple devices.

Apple reinstated Epic Games' developer account on Friday, two days after blocking the company from launching its online marketplace on iPhones and iPads in Europe.

The game developer said it will move ahead with its plans to bring the Epic Games Store and Fortnite back to iOS in the continent.

Epic Games said, “This sends a strong signal to developers that the European Commission will act swiftly to enforce the Digital Markets Act and hold gatekeepers accountable.”

Apple said earlier this week that it had terminated Epic's account because the company's actions cast doubt on whether it intended to follow new rules set by Apple to comply with the DMA. .

Apple said in a statement, “After conversations with Epic, they have committed to complying with the Terms, including our DMA policies. As a result, Epic Sweden AB is required to re-sign the developer agreement and be accepted into the Apple Developer Program.” has been allowed.” ,

© Thomson Reuters 2024


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