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Apple vs Epic: EU demands explanation on app ban

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  • 3 min read

It seems like Apple’s problems aren’t subsiding any time soon. After the Spotify fiasco, the company was hit with a massive $2 billion fine. And now, Epic has accused Apple of violating the Digital Markets Act (DMA) by abruptly terminating its approved developer account. The termination has effectively barred Epic Games from developing Epic Games and Fortnite for iOS devices in Europe.

The DMA mandates that gatekeepers, such as Apple, allow and facilitate the installation and effective use of third-party app stores, a provision Apple is accused of flouting by terminating Epic’s developer account.

Article 6(4) of the DMA explicitly states that gatekeepers must enable the installation and use of third-party software applications or application stores.

Epic Games argues that Apple’s move undermines competition and violates the spirit of the DMA, as it removes a potential competitor to the Apple App Store.

Apple lawyers allege that the termination was in response to public criticism from Epic regarding Apple’s proposed DMA compliance plan, citing an X post by Tim Sweeny, CEO of Epic Games.

“In the past, Epic has denigrated Apple’s developer teams, including the Developer Program License Agreement (DPLA), as a prelude to breaking them. Given that pattern, Apple recently reached out directly to Mr. Sween to give him an opportunity to explain why Apple should trust Epic this time and allow Epic Games Sweden AB to become an active developer,” said the email by Apple’s lawyers.

Apple has been at loggerheads with various companies in Europe.

Apple also alleges that “Epic Games Sweden AB is part of a global effort to undermine or evade Apple’s rules.”

Epic contends that this is a retaliatory move by Apple against their outspoken criticism of what they deem as Apple’s unfair and illegal practices. Apple’s assertion that Epic Games is a threat to their ecosystem is baseless as these two companies have a history of collaboration on various projects.

This drama has caused the European Union to intervene. As per Reuters, the EU has asked Apple to “further explain” their actions.

“We are also evaluating whether Apple’s actions raise doubts on their compliance with the DSA (Digital Services Act) and the P2B (Platform to Business Regulation), given the links between the developer programme membership and the App Store as designated VLOP (very large online platform),” said an EU spokesperson.

Gaming and other developers on iOS will be closely watching this latest battle. They will also be waiting for the EU decision in this case, as this decision will greatly affect the future of third-party app stores on the Apple App Store.

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Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: