Apple Okays Epic Games Marketplace App in Europe

Smartphone with Epic Games logo is seen in front of Apple logo in this illustration taken, May 2, 2021. (Reuters)
Smartphone with Epic Games logo is seen in front of Apple logo in this illustration taken, May 2, 2021. (Reuters)
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Apple Okays Epic Games Marketplace App in Europe

Smartphone with Epic Games logo is seen in front of Apple logo in this illustration taken, May 2, 2021. (Reuters)
Smartphone with Epic Games logo is seen in front of Apple logo in this illustration taken, May 2, 2021. (Reuters)

Apple said on Friday it has approved Epic Games' games marketplace app on iPhones and iPads in Europe, after the "Fortnite" maker escalated its feud with the technology giant, accusing it of hindering its efforts to set up a games store on the devices.

Apple said the latest spat concerned the Epic Sweden AB Marketplace and has nothing to do with the video games maker's Fortnite app which has already been given the green light.

Apps developers and antitrust regulators have criticized Apple's tight control of the iOS app ecosystem.

Before Apple's announcement, Epic said the iPhone maker had twice rejected documents the video-game publisher submitted to launch the Epic Games Store because the design of certain buttons and labels was similar to those used by its App Store.

"We are using the same "Install" and "In-app purchases" naming conventions that are used across popular app stores on multiple platforms, and are following standard conventions for buttons in iOS apps," Epic said in a series of posts on X.

"Apple's rejection is arbitrary, obstructive, and in violation of the DMA (Digital Markets Act), and we've shared our concerns with the European Commission," it said.

The European Commission, which opened an investigation into the checks and reviews put in place by Apple to validate apps and alternative app stores to be sideloaded last month, declined to comment.

Epic and Apple have been waging a legal battle since 2020, when the gaming firm alleged Apple's practice of charging up to 30% commissions on in-app payments on its iPhone Operating System (iOS) devices violated US antitrust rules.

Early this year, Apple proposed changes to its App Store policies to comply with certain directives of the DMA that went into force in March.

It allowed alternative app stores on iPhones and an opt-out from using the in-app payments system, but set a "core technology fee", which several developers found exploitative.



Musk Activates Starlink Satellite Internet Service in Gaza Hospital

Analysts have doubts about Elon Musk's notion of relying on subscriptions instead of ads at Twitter Britta Pedersen POOL/AFP/File
Analysts have doubts about Elon Musk's notion of relying on subscriptions instead of ads at Twitter Britta Pedersen POOL/AFP/File
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Musk Activates Starlink Satellite Internet Service in Gaza Hospital

Analysts have doubts about Elon Musk's notion of relying on subscriptions instead of ads at Twitter Britta Pedersen POOL/AFP/File
Analysts have doubts about Elon Musk's notion of relying on subscriptions instead of ads at Twitter Britta Pedersen POOL/AFP/File

Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet service has been activated in a hospital in the Gaza Strip, the SpaceX chief executive said.

"Starlink is now active in a Gaza hospital with the support of @UAEmediaoffice and @Israel," Musk posted on X, more than five months after the Israeli government approved Starlink's use in the hospital in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

The high-speed internet will enable potentially life-saving medical consultations via real-time video calling, the UAE foreign ministry said in February.

Internet connectivity in Gaza is poor because of the lack of power and fuel to operate provider centers. This makes it harder for medical staff and rescue teams to work, and restricts hospital services and the health ministry's centralised system.