Apple cancel Epic Games developer account calling it a ‘threat’ to the iOS ecosystem

Apple cancel Epic Games developer account calling it a ‘threat’ to the iOS ecosystem

The ongoing dispute between Apple and Epic Games has taken a significant turn as Epic Games disclosed that Apple has terminated its developer account. This action by Apple marks a reversal from the previous approval of Epic's account, which was granted last month and was expected to facilitate the return of Fortnite to iOS devices in the EU following the implementation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA). 

However, Epic now asserts that Apple's decision to terminate its Epic Games Sweden AB account constitutes a "serious violation of the DMA" and indicates Apple's reluctance to foster true competition on iOS devices.

According to Epic, Apple cited various reasons to justify its termination, including Epic's criticism of Apple's proposed DMA rules, notably a post on X (formerly Twitter) by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney. 

Epic's vocal opposition to Apple's practices, including its legal challenges and advocacy for regulatory interventions, has evidently strained their relationship. Apple, it appears, perceives Epic as a threat to its ecosystem.

Epic contends that it has openly communicated its intentions and subsequently reassured Apple in writing of its compliance with all developer agreements, even after seeking a DMA consultation initially denied by Apple. Despite Epic's willingness to abide by the rules, Apple's lawyers terminated its account, alleging retaliation against Epic for its outspokenness.

Apple's Phil Schiller, in a letter dated February 23, 2024, highlighted Epic's past breaches of agreements with Apple and criticized Epic's "colorful criticism" of Apple's practices. Schiller expressed skepticism about Epic's commitment to compliance and urged Epic to provide assurances about its future conduct to rebuild trust.

Epic emphasized its longstanding contractual relationships with Apple dating back to 2010 and Apple's support for Epic's Unreal Engine. However, Apple maintains that its decision to terminate Epic's account is justified based on past breaches and the contractual terms established in the September 2021 judgment resulting from the litigation between Apple and Epic.

Furthermore, Apple clarified that Epic Games Sweden had entered into the Apple Developer Program License Agreement through a click-through agreement, bypassing executive review by Apple at that time.

In response to Epic's disclosure, Apple reiterated its right to terminate Epic's account based on contractual obligations and past behavior, as affirmed by the courts.

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