October 2, 2022
Apple refuses to reinstate Fortnite in App Store despite South Korea’s antitrust law

Apple on Friday refused to reinstate the wildly popular Fortnite game in its South Korean App Store despite a new Seoul anti-monopoly law that denies its lucrative digital payments platform, sparking an ongoing dispute with videogame developer Epic Games. Removes effectively.

With billions of dollars at stake, the two firms are at the forefront of a global competition between delivery platforms and content creators over how revenue should be divided.

Apple pulled Fortnite from its stores last year, bypassing the tech giant’s own system, after Epic introduced direct in-app payments.

Epic sued Apple over the removal and the matter is before the courts in the United States.

In a world first, South Korea passed a law last month barring Apple and Google from forcing app developers to use the tech giant’s payment systems, effectively blocking their lucrative App Store and Play Store. declared the monopoly illegal.

Expected to take effect in the coming days, this will make South Korea the first country to mandate such alternative payment options, allowing users to bypass fees set by store owners.

“Epic intends to re-release Fortnite on iOS in Korea, offering both Epic Pay and Apple Pay, in compliance with the new Korean law,” the game company said on its verified Fortnite Twitter account on Friday.

But in a statement to AFP, Apple said it would not allow Epic Games to return to the App Store unless they agreed to “play by the same rules as everyone else”.

“Epic has admitted to breach of contract and, so far, has no valid grounds to reinstate their developer account,” it added.

Apple and Google have faced global criticism for charging commissions of up to 30 percent on app sales and requiring the use of their own payment systems, which collect a portion of the transaction.

They face several class-action lawsuits over the rules, and last month a settlement was struck in the US that allowed smaller developers to inform their customers about alternative payment options beyond the App Store.

In August US senators also introduced legislation that would make it illegal for store operators such as Apple and Google to require the use of their own payment systems for transactions.

A verdict is expected later in its case against Epic, whose action-packed first-person shooter Fortnite is one of the most popular games in the world, with more than 350 million users — more than the US population.

It’s also free to play, with players earning billions in revenue from purchasing additional costumes and dance moves.

Epic’s announcement Friday came after its CEO Tim Sweeney enthusiastically welcomed the passage of the law, calling it “a major milestone in the 45-year history of personal computing” on his Twitter account.

“I’m a Korean,” he said.

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