On Thursday, Apple rejected Fortnite creator Epic Games’ request to restore its account on the South Korean iPhone manufacturer’s iOS platform to add its own payment options. This is their latest dispute over app development costs.
Apple is fighting a lawsuit filed by Epic Games last year, accusing the smartphone manufacturer of abusing its dominant position in the mobile application market.
Last week, the South Korean parliament approved a bill to prohibit major app store operators including Apple from forcing software developers to use their payment systems, effectively preventing them from charging commissions for in-app purchases. Their struggle turned to South Korea.
The bill is expected to take effect around September 15.
Epic stated in a post on Twitter that it has asked Apple to restore its Fortnite developer account, adding: “Epic intends to re-release Fortnite on iOS in South Korea and provide both Epic payment and Apple payment to comply with the new Korean Standard. Law.”
But Apple said that Epic Games must agree to comply with Apple’s App Store review guidelines, and in the absence of such an agreement, it will not consider any requests to restore Epic Games Developer Program accounts.
Apple said in an email statement: “If Epic agrees to play the game in accordance with the same rules as everyone else, we will welcome Epic back to the App Store.”
It stated that even if South Korean legislation becomes law, the company is not obliged to approve any application for a developer program account.
Legal experts and developers all over the world are waiting for Epic Games’ ruling in the US court against Apple’s antitrust case.
When Epic introduced its own in-app payment system in Fortnite to circumvent Apple’s commissions, it violated Apple’s rules. Apple told Epic Games that the move violated its rules and removed the game from the App Store.
Faced with increasing antitrust scrutiny by global regulators, Apple said last week that it will allow some apps such as Netflix to provide links to its websites for users to pay. This small concession will allow app developers Bypass the controversial 30% app store fee it charges.
© Thomson Reuters 2021