Apple's Epic Store ban garners attention from EU regulators

Apple iPhone 15 pro AM AH3

Apple has always been one to have a tight grip on everything within its iOS ecosystem, and this week that led to the company blocking the Epic Store that Epic Games had planned for iOS because of a ban on Epic’s account. Epic released an official statement about Apple’s decision on March 6. In it, the company noted that Apple had revoked its developer account which led Epic to have to put its plans for an Epic Games Store on iOS on hold.

Epic’s plans for this third-party store were in accordance with the EU’s mandate outlined in the DMA (Digital Markets Act). Stating that Apple was required to allow third-party store offerings on its mobile platform in Europe. Epic says Apple’s decision to ban its developer account violates the DMA. Now, EU regulators are looking into Apple and investigating its decision for the ban.

The EU will investigate whether or not Apple violated the DMA terms with the Epic Store ban

Apple is already in hot water with the EU after “abusing its dominant place in the market.” This led EU regulators to fine Apple a total of $1.9 billion. Now regulators say they will be looking into Apple’s reason for the ban.

Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney feels that Apple’s decision was revenge. That might be hard to prove. Epic would need to link Apple’s decision for the ban to something Epic said or did directly. And then show that Apple banned Epic’s developer account as a response to those things. As it turns out, Apple may have just given Epic and the EU a reason to see things this way. As 9To5Mac points out, Apple’s response to Epic’s statement reads like the ban was a move made because Epic dared to be critical of Apple’s policies.

“You have described our DMA compliance plan as “hot garbage,” a “horror show,” and a “devious new instance of Malicious Compliance.” And you have complained about what you called “Junk Fees” and “Apple taxes,” Apple executive Phil Schiller said. Schiller’s response was in reference to a tweet that Tim Sweeney made. Whether or not Apple canceled Epic’s developer account for this tweet is uncertain. But the EU is certainly going to be looking into it.

Apple will then likely have to explain its reasoning. Which in the end, could result in Epic getting its developer account back. But, time will tell.