The EU is investigating Apple's decision to close Epic's developer account

The European Commission has asked Apple for “further explanations” on its decision yesterday Terminate the developer account Epic Games, The Financial Times reports.

The Election Commission said it was investigating under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a new law aimed at curbing the power of large online platforms. Tech companies faced a March 7 deadline to comply with the law. The commission added that it is also assessing whether Apple's actions may have breached other EU laws.

Apple announced on Wednesday that it was terminating Epic Games Sweden's developer account globally, citing the game developer's continued untrustworthy actions. Apple said the courts had previously authorized Apple to close the accounts of Epic's subsidiaries for breach of contract.

The move scuttles Epic's plans to bring its Fortnite game back to the iPhone by launching the Epic Games Store on iOS in the EU, which it said would comply with new EU regulations allowing alternative app markets on iOS. Starting with iOS 17.4, Apple allows alternative app markets on the iPhone in the EU as part of compliance with DMA. Epic argues that Apple's termination violates the DMA and substantially restricts competition on iOS devices.

Epic condemned Apple's decision as a violation of competition principles, interpreting it as evidence that Apple is unwilling to allow legitimate competition on its platform. The company said Apple's move was an attempt to eliminate a major potential competitor to the App Store.

Apple's move is the latest in a broader legal battle that began in 2020, when Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store for violating its payment system rules. In retaliation, Epic launched lawsuits in the US and Australia, accusing Apple of anti-competitive behaviour.

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