The App Store policy changes that are coming in iOS 17.4 aren’t enough for Epic’s Tim Sweeney, with him firing back at Apple for implementing an “anticompetitive scheme rife with junk fees.”
In a statement provided to AppleInsider and a series of posts on Twitter/X, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has made it clear what he thinks about the European Union-mandated App Store changes, required by the Digital Markets Act (DMA).
So there’s no misinterpretation, we’re including Sweeney’s quote in full.
Apple’s plan to thwart Europe’s new Digital Markets Act law is a devious new instance of Malicious Compliance.
They are forcing developers to choose between App Store exclusivity and the store terms, which will be illegal under DMA, or accept a new also-illegal anticompetitive scheme rife with new Junk Fees on downloads and new Apple taxes on payments they don’t process.
Apple proposes that it can choose which stores are allowed to compete with their App Store. They could block Epic from launching the Epic Games Store and distributing Fortnite through it, for example, or block Microsoft, Valve, Good Old Games, or new entrants.
The Epic Games Store is the #7 software store in the world (behind the 3 console stores, 2 mobile stores, and Steam on PC). We’re determined to launch on iOS and Android and enter the competition to become the #1 multi-platform software store, on the foundation of payment competition, 0%-12% fees, and exclusive games like Fortnite.
Epic has always supported the notion of Apple notarization and malware scanning for apps, but we strongly reject Apple’s twisting this process to undermine competition and continue imposing Apple taxes on transactions they’re not involved in.
There’s a lot more hot garbage in Apple’s announcement. It will take more time to parse both the written and unwritten parts of this new horror show, so stay tuned.
It’s unclear why Sweeney says the policies are illegal under the DMA. Presumably, Apple has already submitted what it plans to do to the EU before the announcement, which is a DMA requirement.
Additionally, the DMA does not require zero fees applied by gatekeepers of app stores. It just requires that they be fair and reasonable. For third-party app stores outside of Apple’s, the first install of an app requires a 0.50 Euro fee, but reinstalls by the same user are not billed again.
The terms of the new system are clear that the only fees Apple applies on payments is if the payment is processed through Apple. Alternative app stores have no fee to pay to Apple if they use their own payment processing.
There is a requirement that Sweeney doesn’t mention in his Twitter/X thread that third-party app stores who want to have an app marketplace provide Apple with a letter of credit from an A-rated financial institution of one million euros. Apple says this is “to guarantee support for your developers and users.”
Presumably, Epic, Microsoft, Spotify, and other large companies should be able to provide this, given the longevity, excellent financials, and user base of the companies in question. Apple still does not allow application packages to be installed from any source.
Fortnite remains banned from the App Store. It is available on game streaming services on iPhone and iPad — which will see changes worldwide in iOS 17.4 — and Epic is likely to restore it on its own app store to the EU as soon as it can.
The post Epic’s Tim Sweeney is mad about Apple’s EU App Store concessions first appeared on appleinsider.com