Monday, April 15, 2024

Apple changes its mind about the European Union’s prohibition on the company behind ‘Fortnite,’ Epic Games

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Apple has changed its mind about banning Epic Games, the creators of “Fortnite,” from starting their own app store on iOS in Europe. This happened just a day after European Union officials announced an investigation into the matter.

This is the first big test of Europe’s new digital competition rules that started on Thursday. It shows how the Digital Markets Act might already be affecting consumers shortly after coming into effect.

Because Apple has changed its stance, Epic can now bring back “Fortnite” to iPhones in Europe. “Fortnite” hasn’t been available on iOS since 2020 when the two companies had a disagreement over Apple’s rules for developers.

Epic mentioned in a blog post that Apple assured them and the European Commission that they would reinstate their developer account. This is seen as a sign that the European Commission will act quickly to enforce the Digital Markets Act and make sure powerful companies follow the rules.

Apple said they made this decision after talking with Epic, and Epic promised to follow Apple’s new policies in the European Union.

In response to the European Commission’s request for information about the allegations, and after a warning from a top EU commissioner about threats from powerful companies, Apple allowed Epic to sign the developer agreement again and join the Apple Developer Program.

The new EU Digital Markets Act requires app stores to allow downloads from sources other than themselves. Apple’s solution to this rule is a system that lets developers create new iOS apps that work like their own app marketplaces.

Epic complained to the European Commission, accusing Apple of canceling their developer account because of Epic’s history of criticizing Apple. Another reason given was Epic’s intentional violation of Apple’s terms to expose what Epic called unfair practices by Apple.

Emails published by Epic seemed to support these claims, showing Apple leaders expecting Epic to break Apple’s store terms again. Epic’s CEO promised to follow the terms, but Apple still canceled the developer account.

Initially, Apple justified its decision by referring to US court rulings that supported their right to terminate Epic’s accounts for any reason. However, now it seems that Apple has changed its decision due to pressure from EU officials, allowing Epic and “Fortnite” to be available again on iOS in Europe.

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