Apple has been asked by the EU to explain why it prevented Fortnite video-game maker Epic Games from launching its own online marketplace on iPhones and iPads.
| Photo Credit: AP

Apple has been asked by the EU to explain why it prevented Fortnite video-game maker Epic Games from launching its own online marketplace on iPhones and iPads in Europe and whether this breaches EU technology rules, antitrust regulators said on Thursday.

The iPhone maker on Wednesday terminated a new developer account created by Epic in Sweden in an attempt to put Fornite and other games back on iPhones in Europe by running its own game store on Apple’s devices.

Epic Games sought to take advantage of landmark EU rules known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA) which kick in on Thursday and require Apple to open up its closed eco-system to rivals.

Apple blocked the effort, citing Epic’s past breaches of contract in the long-running legal dispute.\

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“We have requested further explanations on this from Apple under the DMA (Digital Markets Act),” a European Commission spokesperson said in an email.

“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).”

Under the DSA, decisions suspending or terminating accounts have to be proportionate and with due regard to fundamental rights while the P2B requires a platform to notify a business user when terms and conditions are changed and before an account is closed.

Apple reiterated on Thursday that it exercised its rights which has been determined by courts.

“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’,” an Apple spokesperson said.

“In light of Epic’s past and ongoing behavior, Apple chose to exercise that right.”

Epic on Wednesday said Apple was removing one of the largest potential competitors to the Apple App Store.



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