EU investigating Apple’s block of Epic developer account

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The EU is stepping in to investigate the latest development in the feud between Apple and Epic, with European regulators now seeking answers from Apple on yesterday’s news — that it had banned Epic’s developer account.

To recap, Epic announced it would be launching an iOS version of its store in Europe back in February, following Apple’s confirmation it would be complying with the EU’s Digital Markets Act requiring it to allow sideloading and alternate marketplaces on its devices. Epic subsequently received an official Apple Developer Account, and said it planned to launch its app store sometime this year.

Yesterday, however, it was revealed that Apple had now terminated Epic’s developer account on the basis the company had been «verifiably untrustworthy» in the past, a move which Epic said was a «serious violation of the [Digital Markets Act]» within the EU. Now, a European Commission spokesperson confirmed to Reuters it had «requested further explanations» on the ban under the DMA.

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«We are also evaluating whether Apple’s actions raise doubts on their compliance with the DSA (Digital Services Act) and the P2B (Platform to Business Regulation),» the spokesperson added.

Apple responded to Epic’s public statement yesterday on its developer account’s termination by condemning the company further, stating «Epic’s egregious breach of its contractual obligations to Apple led courts to determine that Apple has the right to terminate any or all of Epic Games wholly owned subsidiaries», referring to its 2021 antitrust case win over Epic. «In light of Epic’s past and ongoing behaviour, Apple chose to exercise that right,» Apple continued (thanks, Bloomberg).

The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 2021 ruling last year after Epic and Apple both appealed its outcome, though Epic won a similar case against Google in December 2023.

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