Fortnite to Arrive on iPhones as Apple restores Epic Games account

Fortnite triumphs on iPhones as Apple reinstates Epic Games' account under EU antitrust rules, signaling a win for fair competition in the tech industry.

Gaming Blog
9. Mar 2024
Fortnite to Arrive on iPhones as Apple restores Epic Games account

In a dramatic turn of events, Apple has reinstated Epic Games' developer account in Sweden, marking a pivotal moment under the European Union's new antitrust regulation, the Digital Markets Act (DMA). This decision grants Epic Games the ability to introduce a competing app store on iPhones in Europe, a move that aligns with the ongoing effort to foster fair competition in the tech industry.

Apple's Perspective

Apple spokespersons confirmed the account restoration, emphasizing that Epic Games agreed to adhere to the iPhone maker's platform policies, including those outlined in the DMA. The statement from Apple read, "Following conversations with Epic, they have committed to follow the rules, including our DMA policies. As a result, Epic Sweden AB has been permitted to re-sign the developer agreement and accepted into the Apple Developer Program."

Epic Games' Response

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney acknowledged the development through a post on social media, revealing that Apple's decision came after an inquiry by the European Commission. The game maker expressed its commitment to leveraging the reinstated account to publish Fortnite for iPhones in Europe, along with featuring its own Epic Games store.

Sweeney remarked, "This sends a strong signal to developers that the European Commission will act swiftly to enforce the Digital Markets Act and hold gatekeepers accountable."

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Apple's Controversial Move

The restoration of Epic Games' account follows Apple's controversial decision earlier in the week to block the developer account in Sweden. According to Phil Schiller, Apple App Store chief, the action was taken in response to Epic Games' legal actions and social media criticisms. This move prompted immediate scrutiny from European regulators, who pledged to seek clarification from Apple regarding the incident.

EU Regulators' Stance

The European Union has been actively addressing antitrust concerns within the tech industry. In a separate development, EU regulators imposed a substantial $2 billion fine on Apple for obstructing Spotify and other music streaming platforms from informing users about alternative payment options outside the confines of the App Store.

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The reinstatement of Epic Games' developer account signals a potential shift in the power dynamics between tech giants and app developers. As the EU continues to enforce its Digital Markets Act, this case serves as a precedent, underlining the importance of fair competition and accountability in the evolving landscape of app ecosystems. Fortnite's return to iPhones in Europe stands as a testament to the regulatory landscape's responsiveness and commitment to fostering a level playing field in the digital marketplace.

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