Apple backs down on EU ban for ‘Fortnite’-maker Epic Games

Apple backs down on EU ban for ‘Fortnite’-maker Epic Games - Business and Finance - News

Title: Apple Reverses Decision to Ban Epic Games from iOS App Store in Europe Amid EU Investigation

Apple has unexpectedly reversed its decision to ban Epic Games, the creators of “Fortnite,” from launching their own app store on iOS devices in Europe. This U-turn comes just a day after the contact Union (EU) announced that it was investigating Apple for allegedly breaching the EU’s new digital competition rules.

The Digital Markets Act (DMA), which went into effect on Thursday, is the first major test of Europe’s new regulations designed to curb the market power of tech giants. This incident underscores how the DMA could already be influencing consumer experiences, as Apple’s decision to allow Epic back onto its platform comes in response to EU scrutiny.

In a blog post, Epic Games stated that they will now be able to bring “Fortnite” back to iPhones in Europe. The popular keyboards has been unavailable on iOS since 2020 when Apple and Epic clashed over the iPhone maker’s developer terms.

Epic expressed satisfaction with this outcome, emphasizing that it sends a strong message to developers about EU enforcement actions and holding dominant players accountable. Apple stated that they made their decision following discussions with Epic, in which the gaming company agreed to adhere to the new EU-focused policies.

According to Apple’s statement, “Epic Sweden AB has been permitted to re-sign the developer agreement and accepted into the Apple Developer Program.”

The contact Commission requested information from Apple regarding these allegations, and a top EU commissioner, Thierry Breton, publicly warned that there is “no room for threats by gatekeepers to silence developers.” He identified Epic’s complaint as a priority issue.

The DMA mandates that app stores allow downloads from third-party sources, but Apple’s response to this rule is a system enabling developers to create new iOS apps acting as self-contained marketplaces.

In its complaint to the contact Commission, Epic accused Apple of terminating its developer account due to Epic’s past criticism and intentional breach of Apple’s store terms. Leaked emails showed Apple leaders expecting Epic to deliberately defy Apple’s terms again, while Epic promised to comply with them. Despite this, Apple revoked the account citing US court rulings affirming their right to terminate for any reason.

Now, in response to EU pressure, Apple has reversed its decision and paved the way for Epic and “Fortnite” to be accessible once more on iOS devices in Europe.