Epic Games CEO, Tim Sweeney, has swiftly responded to Apple’s recent policy changes targeted at European users. According to Sweeney, these innovations are perceived as an anti-competitive strategy aimed at skirting new regulations through questionable fees, portraying a case of what he terms as “unfair compliance with the law.”
Apple’s Alleged Non-Compliance with Digital Markets Act (DMA)
Mr. Sweeney contends that Apple’s updated policy falls short of complying with the Digital Markets Act (DMA). He asserts that the tech giant puts developers in a dilemma by compelling them to opt for either the conventional 15/30% commission terms or what he deems “the same illegal anti-competitive scheme,” complete with additional charges and levies for unprocessed payments.
Unpacking the “Junk Fees”
The term “junk fee” is potentially linked to a novel payment category – the “core technology fee” (Core Technology Fee). For every inaugural installation of an application with an audience surpassing 1 million users, a €0.50 commission is imposed. This fee extends to installations from alternative app stores. Sweeney’s reference to Apple imposing “new taxes on payments they don’t process” raises questions, as per the new regulations, the App Store’s commission is reduced to 17%, with an additional 3% fee for transactions via Apple’s payment system. Payments routed through alternative systems remain untaxed, notes NIXsolutions.
Epic Games’ Plans Amidst Apple’s Policies
Despite Apple’s changes, Sweeney discloses that Epic Games is gearing up to launch its own game store for Android and iOS. However, a caveat exists – Apple retains the authority to decide whether to authorize the new platform or not.