Apple bans Epic Games from App Store until all litigation is finalized
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney announced the indefinite ban with a series of tweets.
According to a series of emails published on Twitter and a blog post by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, Apple has blocked Epic Games from returning to the App Store ecosystem indefinitely, despite the games developer claiming it would stop its own payments system.
Apple lied. Apple spent a year telling the world, the court, and the press they’d “welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else”. Epic agreed, and now Apple has reneged in another abuse of its monopoly power over a billion users.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) September 22, 2021
Epic’s iOS developer account was blocked in August of last year after the company introduced a new payment method designed to bypass Apple’s payment systems and 30 percent commission fees. Epic filed cases against Apple in response to the prohibition, with the US litigation resulting in a mixed court verdict a fortnight ago.
Apple was justified in cancelling Epic’s iOS developer account because it breached App Store criteria, according to the mixed court verdict.
Epic has subsequently challenged the ruling, and the court is currently deciding whether or not to hear the case.
The games developer’s apps, such as its flagship game Fortnite, would not be permitted to return to the App Store until the US case was resolved, according to one of the disclosed emails reportedly received by Apple’s legal representatives on September 21.
The letter alluded to the mixed court judgement, which stated that Apple was within its rights to remove any Epic-related accounts from the App Store and that Epic’s developer account could not be reinstated.
Sweeney accused Apple of breaking its promise to enable Epic Games to return to the App Store if it agreed to “play by the same standards” in his tweets.
This was in response to an Apple spokesperson’s emailed remark from a week ago:
“As we’ve said all along, we would welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else. Epic has admitted to breach of contract and as of now, there’s no legitimate basis for the reinstatement of their developer account.”
“Apple lied,” Sweeney tweeted.
“Apple spent a year telling the world, the court, and the press they’d ‘welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else.’ Epic agreed, and now Apple has reneged in another abuse of its monopoly power over a billion users.”
Other repercussions of the US court judgement include Epic’s attempt to reintroduce Fortnite to the South Korean iOS App Store, which is now in jeopardy due to the company’s lack of an iOS developer account. Despite the fact that South Korea recently passed legislation requiring programme stores like the App Store to accept different payment methods, this is still the case.
Epic Games’ other pending lawsuits around the world, such as two in Australia, accuse Apple and Google of acting anti-competitively through their app store tactics, would be influenced by the court verdict.