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Epic Games is now able to have their popular game Fortnite and their game store reinstated on iPhones in Europe with the approval of Apple.
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Epic Games is now able to have their popular game Fortnite and their game store reinstated on iPhones in Europe with the approval of Apple.

Due to pressure from European authorities, Apple retracted its stance against Epic Games on Friday, allowing Epic to release Fortnite and its own game store on iPhones and iPads in Europe.

Earlier this week, Apple implemented measures to prevent Epic from launching a store and reintroducing the popular game. This game was previously removed from the App Store in 2020 by Apple due to Epic’s violation of their in-app payment regulations in a form of protest.

Apple’s decision to open its door to Epic follows the EU’s Thursday deadline for big tech companies to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a set of rules that bans Apple and Google from controlling which apps are distributed on devices with the iOS and Android operating systems.

According to EU industry commissioner Thierry Breton, regulators had previously informed Apple about their decision to block Epic’s potential return to the App Store.

“I am pleased to report that, after our discussions, Apple has decided to reverse their decision to exclude Epic. The #DMA is already producing tangible results as early as Day 2!” shared Breton on Twitter/X.

In 2020, Epic and Apple entered a legal conflict in which Epic claimed that Apple’s practice of charging up to 30% fees for in-app purchases on iOS devices went against US antitrust laws. Unfortunately, Epic was unsuccessful in their lawsuit against Apple, and their deliberate attempt to violate Apple’s policies as a form of protest resulted in their ban from Apple’s devices.

Apple has not removed other critics who have not intentionally violated their rules, including Spotify. Recently, Spotify was successful in convincing EU antitrust regulators to penalize Apple with a hefty fine of €1.84bn ($2bn) for engaging in anti-competitive behavior in the digital music industry. However, despite this, Spotify and other critics remain available on the Apple app store.

Developer accounts serve as pawns in larger battle

The latest dispute between Apple and Epic centered around Apple’s developer accounts, which are typically a routine but crucial process for developers to sell apps on Apple devices.

On Friday, Apple restored Epic Games’ developer account, two days after it had prevented the company from releasing its own app store on iPhones and iPads in Europe.

The game developer stated that it will continue with its intentions to reintroduce the Epic Games store and Fortnite game to iOS users in the region.

Epic Games stated that this action serves as a powerful indication to developers that the European Commission will promptly enforce the Digital Markets Act and require gatekeepers to take responsibility.

This week, Apple announced that it had ended Epic’s account due to their behavior causing concern about their intentions to adhere to the DMA guidelines.

Apple stated that, after discussions with Epic, the company has agreed to comply with our DMA policies and will adhere to all rules. As a result, Epic Sweden AB has been given permission to re-establish their developer agreement and has been welcomed into the Apple Developer Program.

Source: theguardian.com