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Epic Games Launching Own iOS Store in EU Thanks to Digital Markets Act

Epic Games spearheads a revolutionary challenge to Apple’s longstanding iOS distribution monopoly courtesy newly enacted EU Digital Market Acts (DMA) designed limiting anti-competitive conduct by Big Tech gatekeepers.

Specifically, Epic Games confirms plans launching an independent iOS app store in Europe by end of 2023, allowing installation of apps Apple bans like gaming phenomenon Fortnite.

Understanding the Digital Markets Act Impact

The wide-sweeping Digital Markets Act passed by EU parliament aims protecting consumer choice by ending platform gatekeeper abuses like Apple’s tight control over iOS app distribution.

Two notable requirements imposed on Apple by DMA include:

  • Allowing sideloading of apps without App Store reviewal
  • Opening access for third-party stores like Epic Games seeks launching

These measures promise providing iOS users freedom to self-determine desired apps without Apple bottleneck interference.

Epic’s History Battling Apple’s iOS Policies

Epic and Apple clashed heavily in the past regarding iOS app policies, including an ugly 2020 court battletriggered by Epic allowing direct Fortnite V-Bucks purchases circumventing Apple payment systems.

This defiance led Apple banning Fortnite from iOS entirely, which Epic weaponized illustrating the anti-competitive nature of its closed ecosystem.

However, US courts largely sided with Apple. The EU’s firm DMA rules regarding sideloading and alternative stores completely change the landscape.

What Will the Epic Games iOS Store Offer?

While details remain limited, the Epic Games iOS store will reportedly allow at minimum:

  • Downloading apps and games banned by Apple like Fortnite
  • Alternative payment options avoiding Apple taxes
  • Potentially lower-priced or exclusive game content

By providing an app store beyond Apple’s gatekeeping authority, iOS users gain empowering choice – the core DMA directive.

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iOS Ecosystem Impacts Still Unclear

What remains less certain pertains potential ripple effects from Epic’s store regarding the broader iOS app economy.

Might more developers abandon Apple’s ecosystem if lower-cost independent alternatives thrive? Could security risks increase enabling unvetted app sideloading?

Apple bitterly warns dismantling its App Store model risks turning back progress thwarting scams and malicious actors.

Proponents argue the complaints seem overblown given Mac computer consumers freely sideload software without perceived typed issues for decades.

What About US Antitrust Efforts Against Apple?

For now Epic can only deploy its defiant iOS app store within EU jurisdiction regions where DMA legislation overrides Apple mandates.

However, momentum builds in the US as well possibly forcing Apple relaxing restrictions pending various lawsuit outcomes and potential antitrust regulation efforts gain steam.

But Europe sets the pace globally deterring gatekeeper exploitation, with companies like Epic Games leading the vanguard.

 

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