Epic Games said on Monday that Apple is threatening to terminate its developer account — a move that would cut it off from iOS and macOS development tools.
Epic informed the public of the upcoming termination over Twitter, stating that they would request the court step in and prevent Apple from taking “any adverse action against it.”
Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store and has informed Epic that on Friday, August 28 Apple will terminate all our developer accounts and cut Epic off from iOS and Mac development tools. We are asking the court to stop this retaliation. Details here: https://t.co/3br1EHmyd8
— Epic Games Newsroom (@EpicNewsroom) August 17, 2020
Epic’s restraining order against Apple’s actions also requests that the court prevent Apple from “removing, de-listing, refusing to list or otherwise making unavailable the app Fortnite, including any update thereof, from the App Store on the basis that Fortnite offers in-app payment processing through means other than Apple’s IAP or on any pretextual basis.”
Apple’s letter to Epic, which is included in the court filing, leads with:
“Upon further review of the activity associated with your Apple Developer Program membership, we have identified several violations of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement. Therefore, your Apple Developer Program account will be terminated if the violations set forth below are not cured within 14 days.”
Epic responded by filing a lawsuit against Apple an hour later. The complaint alleges that Apple has become a “behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition and stifle innovation,” and claims that the company’s size and reach “far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history.”
Epic has long been critical of Apple’s 30 percent digital commission fee, calling it an “absolute monopoly.”
Companies like Epic and Apple Music rival Spotify are not the only ones concerned about Apple’s App Store practices. The U.S. Department of Justice and state attorneys general begun launching an antitrust investigation into Apple’s App Store after developers continue to raise concerns over anticompetitive behavior.