Apple is actively breaking the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA), the developer of the popular video game Fortnite, Epic Games, has claimed. (Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)


Fortnite developer Epic Games claims ‘Apple breaking EU digital rules’


Apple is actively breaking the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), claimed Epic Games – developer of popular online gaming platform Fortnite.

The two US companies have been at war since 2020, with Apple previously winning several legal cases in America granting it the ability to terminate Epic Games’ app-store access after it allegedly breached app-store rules.

In a statement on March 6, Epic Games claimed Apple’s recent decision to terminate one of its developer accounts over the feud violated the EU’s new competition rules.

“We recently announced that Apple approved our Epic Games Sweden AB developer account,” the company said.

“Apple has terminated that account and now we cannot develop the Epic Games Store for iOS. This is a serious violation of the DMA and shows Apple has no intention of allowing true competition on iOS devices.”

According to Epic Games, Apple’s deletion of its developer account represents an attempt to eliminate competition.

“Apple is retaliating against Epic for speaking out against Apple’s unfair and illegal practices, just as they’ve done to other developers time and time again,” the company said. It also noted that Epic Games had intended to set up its own app store for iPhones that would compete with Apple’s.

“The DMA was designed to eliminate the very power imbalance that Apple is proving exists today,” Epic Games said.

Speaking to Brussels Signal, Apple rejected allegations it was acting in breach of the DMA.

It argued that past court rulings in the US confirmed it had the right to terminate developer accounts belonging to Epic Games, due to the company allegedly having a history of breaking the iPhone’s app-store rules.

“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,” Apple told Brussels Signal.

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

Epic Games’ allegations against Apple come amid mounting pressure on the iPhone maker.

On March 4, the European Commission announced Apple had been fined €1.8 billion over breaking the EU anti-trust regulations regarding its music streaming service.

Speaking in the wake of the ruling, the EC also stated it was looking into other claims alleging Apple was acting in breach of the DMA in how it operates its app store.

“You may have seen that Apple has recently announced a number of changes to its App Store business model,” EC Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said, while announcing the company’s fine.

“At this stage, I cannot really comment on them in detail but, let me stress, we will carefully look into the details to assess the changes and to take into account also the market feedback,” she added.