The EU on Thursday said it would look into an ongoing dispute between tech giant Apple and Epic Games, the developer of the popular Fortnite video game franchise. 

Epic Games has accused Apple of shutting down its efforts to establish its own game store on iOS devices in Europe. The developer says this breaches the new Digital Markets Act (DMA) EU regulation, which came into force on Thursday. 

“Under the DMA, there is no room for threats by gatekeepers to silence developers, European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton wrote on X. “I have asked our services to look into Apple’s termination of Epic’s developer account as a matter of priority.”  

The European Commission, in a separate statement earlier in the day, also asked Apple to elaborate on how its actions towards Epic comply with DMA regulations. 

Apple has claimed that Epic breached contractual obligations by setting up its own app store. The tech giant says that due to a earlier court decision, “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.”  

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney told journalists Wednesday that there needs to be “swift action” regarding Apple’s alleged violation of the DMA. 

EU cracking down on digital ‘gatekeepers’

The DMA will put Apple and other big tech companies under growing scrutiny in the coming months. The regulation, designed by the EU to ensure “fair and open digital markets,” targets six corporations — Google parent company Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, TikTok developer ByteDance, Meta and Microsoft.    

The European Commission said these gatekeepers “will not be allowed to use unfair practices towards the business users and customers who depend on them to gain an undue advantage. This includes tracking users withouth consent or preventing users from uninstalling any pre-installed app.”  

The EU says the rules will ensure “more and better services” and “fairer prices,” among other benefits. Violators could face massive fines if they break the rules.

Apple has said the DMA regulation opens up iOS users to security risks in Europe. If European users download apps from outside the IOS system, Apple contends, it will be more likely that they be targeted by malware, scams or illicit services like drugs.

wd/lo (Reuters, AP, AFP)


Source link