Apple vs. Epic Heats in Europe: Third-Party App Store Blocked

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Apple vs. Epic Heats in Europe: Third-Party App Store Blocked

Apple’s feud with Epic Games has been in the making for years. However, what’s interesting to see here is that Apple has finally managed to block Epic Games from launching its app store for iOS users in Europe.

The battle between the Cupertino giant and the creators of Fortnite started in 2020, and they have been fighting it out since then. According to Epic Games, the main reason behind the introduction of this feud was to prevent Apple from marking up the app or game price by 50%.

Epic claimed that with Apple claiming 30% in commission via their app store, it was against US Antitrust policies. This led to their battle. Epic’s recent challenge coincides with Apple’s iPhone demand issues in China, causing a 12% stock decline this year and trailing other US tech giants. Apple’s shares remained stable on Wednesday.

Regulators and rivals, including Epic, threaten Apple’s profits and ecosystem control by pushing for alternative marketplaces on its devices. Effective this week, the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in Europe compels Apple to allow third-party marketplaces.

Additionally, Brussels antitrust regulators fined Apple €1.84 billion for impeding competition from music streaming rivals through App Store restrictions, marking Apple’s first penalty for violating EU rules.

While Epic wanted to cash in on the DMA ruling, Apple clapped back and pulled their optimism down by citing that the brand has been consistently breaching security and contracts in the past. Apple has successfully taken down the “new developer account” Epic was trying to introduce to the EU residents so they can download Fortnite directly.

The objective was simple: Introduce an app in the EU that would enable gamers to download Fortnite directly and prevent Apple from acquiring a higher commission rate in the process. However, we have to consider that developer accounts are useful for users to test out different games and apps.

So, Apple taking down a few of Epic’s developer accounts in the past is a concern. Apple cited that they had to take down those accounts because Epic broke Apple’s in-app payment rules.

Despite all the turmoil, Apple is working in tandem with the conditions proposed by DMA and its legislation. It would be interesting to witness how things change in the future concerning Apple, third-party app stores, and the hiked-up prices that Epic accused Apple of doing with their games.

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