Following new Korean legislation supporting third parties.
The good news for developers this week is that South Korea recently passed legislation making it illegal for app stores to prohibit third party payment processors. The bad news is that despite this law, and the fact that using its own payment processor was the reason for Fortnite being banned from the Apple app store, the company has no intention on allowing Epic back on to the app store.
Epic has asked Apple to restore our Fortnite developer account. Epic intends to re-release Fortnite on iOS in Korea offering both Epic payment and Apple payment side-by-side in compliance with the new Korean law.
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) September 9, 2021
Tim Sweeney went on Twitter to blast Apple’s actions as “vindictive and nonsensical.”
Like Apple’s attempt to retaliate against all Unreal Engine customers, their refusal to restore Epic’s Fortnite developer account is vindicative and nonsensical. We’re fighting Apple over their iOS terms, but this ban blocks Fortnite from Mac too. Nobody’s arguing about Mac. https://t.co/8NyFYVowqw
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) September 10, 2021
In a statement to Reuters, Apple said “We would welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else,” a comment that doesn’t quite seem to hold now that Epic would be playing by the same rules as everyone else, at least as far as South Korean law goes.
Meanwhile in the states, Epic may have been handed a major victory in its lawsuit against Apple. According ot The Verge, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers issued a permanent injunction against Apple that enjoins them from prohibiting links to third party payment processors. The judge found that while Apple’s conduct did not amount to monopolistic behavior, it did violate California’s laws on anticompetitive conduct.
permanently restrained and enjoined from prohibiting developers from including in their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing and (ii) communicating with customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app.
The decision will no doubt be appealed by Apple, so we’ll see how the court handles that. The injunction goes into effect in 90 days.