EU Regulators Concerned About Apple Blocking Epic Games App

Apple Epic Games dispute
Apple Epic Games dispute

European regulators may soon weigh in on the ongoing dispute between tech giant Apple and Fortnite publisher Epic Games. Apple blocking Epic from launching a separate game store on iOS may violate EU rules that went into effect last year.

EU regulators may weigh in on Apple’s dispute with Epic Games

As the Associated Press reports, the European Commission “requested further explanations” regarding whether Apple is complying with the EU’s Digital Markets Act. The Commission is also concerned whether the company can be trusted to follow other EU guidelines. This comes in response to the tech giant preventing Epic from releasing a separate game store on iPhone.

The act seeks to regulate tech monopolies headed by six corporations designated as industry “gatekeepers.” Along with Apple, these are Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Instagram owner Meta, Google’s parent company Alphabet, and TikTok owner ByteDance. Among other things, the new rules require Apple to let European iPhone users download apps from third-party sources.

According to a statement from Epic Games, Apple recently terminated Epic Games Sweden’s developer account. This prevents it from launching an Epic Game Store app for users in the EU. This, Epic alleges, is a direct violation of the Digital Markets Act. Epic also alleges that the iPhone maunfactrer banned its account in retaliation for Epic CEO Tim Sweeny criticizing Apple publicly. If so, the tech giant may also have violated another EU law prohibiting companies from enforcing their terms and conditions arbitrarily.

“In terminating Epic’s developer account,” the publisher wrote, “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.”

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