Epic Games Faces App Store Rejection from Apple Amidst Ongoing Legal Battle

In a significant development, Epic Games, the creator of the popular video game Fortnite, has encountered a major setback as Apple has denied their application for a developer account, essential for launching their app store in Europe. Epic Games’ CEO, Tim Sweeney, announced the rejection on Wednesday, attributing the decision to Apple’s response to Epic’s antitrust lobbying efforts and the ongoing lawsuit between the two companies. This refusal marks the first instance of Apple blocking a competing app store’s entry into the European market, sparking concerns over Apple’s dominance and control over its app ecosystem.

The conflict between Apple and Epic Games traces back to 2020 when Epic sued both Apple and Google, accusing them of monopolistic practices in their app stores. The lawsuit particularly challenged Apple’s App Store policies, including the mandatory 30% commission on sales. Despite losing the case, Epic’s legal actions prompted changes to Apple’s policies in California. However, the dispute has continued, with Apple citing Epic’s “egregious breach of contractual obligations” as the reason for the termination of their account, according to an Apple spokesperson.

The controversy arises amidst the backdrop of the Digital Markets Act, a new European law aimed at curbing the monopolistic tendencies of tech giants by requiring them to open their platforms to competitors. While Apple has begun to comply, the law presents a challenge to the iPhone App Store’s monopoly. Epic Games had planned to launch a new app store in Europe, applying for a developer account in Sweden, only to be met with rejection. The ongoing dispute highlights the regulatory challenges facing Apple’s App Store revenue and raises questions about the balance between corporate control and market competition.

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