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Rift between Apple and Epic Games attracts investigation by the European Commission

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Yesterday, Apple canceled Epic Games' developer accounts. This means users will not be able to access the Epic Games Store, which is set to launch on iOS.

The conflict between the companies arose when Epic Games publicly commented on Apple's policies to follow the European Union (EU) regulations under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). If you're still unaware of the DMA, it is a law enforced by the EU that prevents tech giants and major companies like Apple, Meta, and Microsoft from monopolizing the industry.

The DMA has forced Apple to change its policies in several cases, such as with Spotify, where it urged Apple to reveal pricing plans and subscription options available to consumers. Apple previously did not allow this, meaning that cheaper options to get Spotify Premium were not fully disclosed to users. Additionally, users could not purchase these plans from within the Spotify app.

Since the rift has occurred between two major companies, this has attracted the attention of the EU watchdog, the European Commission. In its public statements, Epic Games also called Apple "a threat to their ecosystem." However, Epic Games wasn't the only company criticizing Apple for its policies.

According to Reuters, a European Commission spokesperson highlighted that they have requested Apple for more details regarding the issue. The Commission added:

"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), given the links between the developer programme membership and the App Store as designated VLOP (very large online platform)."

The DSA monitors "online intermediaries and platforms such as marketplaces, social networks, content-sharing platforms, app stores, and online travel and accommodation platforms." Together with the DMA, the DSA aims to achieve greater competition and fair market conditions.

On the other hand, P2B provides more stable and predictable market conditions for traders on online platforms and small businesses.

Meanwhile, an Apple spokesperson said in a statement:

“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, affiliates, and/or other entities under Epic Games’ control at any time and at Apple’s sole discretion.′ In light of Epic’s past and ongoing behavior, Apple chose to exercise that right.”

CNBC also mentioned that Apple App Store chief Phil Schiller emailed Epic Games requesting Epic to share written assurance that they would comply with Apple's terms and conditions. However, a week later, the developer account was terminated even after Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney provided the required assurance.

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