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Apple reverses ban on Epic's developer account following European Commission enquiry

Apple has promised the European Commission it will reinstate Epic Games’ developer account, removing the block against the Fortnite firm’s upcoming iOS app store.

That’s according to an update from Epic Games, which amended its original post regarding the ban, noting that plans for the new Epic Games Store and the return of Fortnite are moving forward.

“This sends a strong signal to developers that the European Commission will act swiftly to enforce the Digital Markets Act and hold gatekeepers accountable,” the company wrote.

It was reported on Thursday that the European Union’s antitrust regulators had reached out to Apple for “further explanations” on why it had removed Epic’s developer account the day before.

On Wednesday, Apple called Epic “verifiably untrustworthy,” referring – at least in part – to the original 2020 Fortnite hotfix that enabled direct payments for virtual currency that avoided Apple’s 30% commission, violated the developer agreement Epic had with Apple, and prompted the years-long legal dispute between the two companies.

In January, Apple announced that – in preparation for the EU’s Digital Markets Act – it would be allowing third party app stores and alternative payment systems on iOS. However, Apple added that it would be taking up to 17% commission on all transactions for digital goods and services sold through those stores, with an additional 3% fee if companies wish to use Apple’s payment processing system.

This morning, our contributing editor Rob Fahey discussed Apple’s strategy and how such preparations “have a strong whiff of malicious compliance about them.”

Posting on X today, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney wrote: “The DMA went through its first major challenge with Apple banning Epic Games Sweden from competing with the App Store, and the DMA just had its first major victory. Following a swift inquiry by the European Commission, Apple notified the Commission and Epic that it would relent and restore our access to bring back Fortnite and launch Epic Games Store in Europe under the DMA law.”

Sweeney described the move as “a big win for European rule of law, for the European Commision, and for the freedom of developers worldwide to speak up.”

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