European Regulators to Probe Apple's Alleged Blocking of Epic Games App Store

EU Investigates Claims of Digital Market Violations Amidst Apple-Epic Games Clash

Mar 7, 2024 - 07:24
Mar 7, 2024 - 07:24
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European Regulators to Probe Apple's Alleged Blocking of Epic Games App Store
European Regulators to Probe Apple's Alleged Blocking of Epic Games App Store

European Union authorities have initiated an investigation into Apple's actions following allegations of impeding Epic Games' access to its app store. The probe comes amidst an escalating dispute between the two tech giants and highlights growing concerns over digital market regulations in the EU.

Epic Games, the creator of the popular Fortnite game, has long been at odds with Apple over its control of iPhone app distribution. The latest contention arises from accusations that Apple obstructed Epic Games' attempts to establish its own app marketplace, potentially breaching newly implemented digital rules within the 27-nation bloc.

This move by European regulators marks a significant development in the ongoing battle between the companies. The EU's Digital Markets Act, designed to prevent large tech companies from monopolizing digital markets, has compelled Apple to allow European users to download iPhone apps from alternative stores, a departure from its previous practices.

In response to these allegations, the European Commission, acting as the bloc's primary antitrust authority, has requested further information from Apple under the Digital Markets Act. Violations of these regulations could result in substantial penalties, signaling the seriousness of the situation.

Additionally, the Commission is assessing whether Apple's actions also contravene other EU directives, including the Digital Services Act, which aims to prevent tech companies from applying their terms and conditions arbitrarily.

Epic Games contends that Apple's refusal to accept an alternative iPhone app store planned for Sweden, serving EU consumers, constitutes a clear violation of the Digital Markets Act. This accusation follows a series of confrontations, including CEO Tim Sweeney's vocal criticisms and previous legal battles in the U.S.

In response, Apple has defended its actions, citing Epic's prior breaches of contractual obligations and legal disputes. The tech giant emphasizes its commitment to maintaining the security and privacy of iPhone users while ensuring the sustainability of its platform.

The clash between Apple and Epic Games underscores broader issues surrounding digital market regulations and competition within the EU. As the investigation unfolds, the outcome could have significant implications for the future of app distribution and competition in the digital landscape.

Also Read: Apple Amends Policies in Response to EU Tech Regulations After Developer Criticism

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