Epic accuses Apple of foul play over iOS access, wants EU to show DMA red card

After button brouhaha, CEO rages Cupertino 'must be stopped'

Apple has twice unfairly blocked Epic Games from opening its iOS app portal in the EU, the Fortnite maker claims, and thus is in violation of the continent's Digital Markets Act (DMA).

After the introduction of the DMA in March, Epic Games announced it would be bringing its own sales portal, imaginatively dubbed the Epic Games Store, to iOS to compete against Apple and avoid paying the usual commission to Cupertino, something allowed in the DMA rules. But it seems Apple is dragging its feet.

"Apple has rejected our Epic Games Store notarization submission twice now," Epic said on X, "claiming the design and position of Epic's 'Install' button is too similar to Apple's 'Get' button and that our 'In-app purchases' label is too similar to the App Store's 'In-App Purchases' label."

If Epic is representing Apple's position accurately, this would be a very strange reason to reject a third-party storefront. It's unclear why Epic needs to use significantly different language than is used in the App Store, not to mention that the online souk is just one of many storefronts in the digital world where the words "install" and "in-app purchases" are used.

We looked through a thesaurus for words that Epic could have used instead of "install," or "get," and perhaps the best alternative could be "plonk," or a boring word like "acquire."

"Apple's rejection is arbitrary, obstructive, and in violation of the DMA, and we've shared our concerns with the European Commission," Epic asserts.

Gatekeeper notarization is as ridiculous an idea as if BMW were required to submit all their car designs to Ford for approval

"Apple has proven that gatekeeper notarization is as ridiculous an idea as if BMW were required to submit all their car designs to Ford for approval, and to have their product launch be tied up for weeks, months, or years making their car worse as dictated by a competitor who profits from making the review process awful, and from making their competitor's products awful. Apple must be stopped," fumed Epic CEO Tim Sweeney on Friday.

Apple has also come under fire from Spotify after it was prevented from adding payment methods to the music app that circumvented Apple's fees, again thanks to the DMA. Spotify said Apple even blocked an update that told users they could pay on the Spotify website rather than through the app.

Cupertino has also mandated that third-party browser developers can only have their applications cleared if the code is physically developed in the EU, a requirement which is designed to be "as painful as possible" according to Firefox maker Mozilla.

The European Commission is apparently not amused with Apple's behavior and said the American titan is not compliant with the DMA, at least in respect to Spotify's user steering complaint. Given the bad blood between European regulators and Apple, it doesn't seem too likely that Epic Games' pleas will go ignored.

The Register reached out to both Epic Games and Apple for further comment. ®

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