Apple may have violated DMA law by blocking Epic Games, says EU Commissioner

Apple recently reblocked developer Epic Games account on the App Store, leaving the company unable to launch its own iOS application store in the European Union (EU). This move may have breached regulations, according to a European commissioner in charge of EC executive authority.

Epic Games and Apple’s conflict began when Epic breached App Store rules, bypassing Apple’s 30% commission with a separate Fortnite for iOS payment system. This led to Apple blocking Epic’s developer account and both companies resorting to legal action in the US. With most of the disputes sided with Apple, both parties remained unsatisfied and are contesting the decisions.

With the adoption of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the EU, Apple was obligated to allow third-party app stores for its iOS in the union. Despite the assurance from Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, Apple blocked Epic’s newly created developer account suspecting non-compliance with the rules.

In a response to Sweeney, the App Store head, Phil Schiller, referred to Sweeney’s tweet critical of Apple as an argument for blocking Epic’s iOS access.

EU Commissioner Thierry Breton, emphasized the importance of protecting developer rights against gatekeepers like Apple in a social media post. Andreas Schwab, a German MEP and one of the DMA’s developers, suggested that Apple’s actions could make it the prime candidate for sanctions under the new law.

If found to be in violation of the DMA, Apple could face billions of dollars in fines.

According to 9to5mac, Apple could have navigated the situation by referencing Epic’s past violations rather than its criticism of Apple, leaving room for negotiations about potential guarantees in order for Epic to rejoin the App Store. The reference to public criticism complicated the issue and escalated tensions.

Related Posts