Epic Games CEO attacks Apple, Google over alleged monopolistic practices, hails Korean law on third-party payments

By: |
November 17, 2021 1:06 PM

Sweeney has been vocal in his disdain for Apple, stemming from the Cupertino-based tech giant’s decision to remove the hugely popular Fortnite from its platform.

epic gamesSweeney said the metaverse had the potential to become a multitrillion-dollar part of the global economy over the next few decades. (Reuters)

Epic Games Chief Executive Officer Tim Sweeney launched a scathing attack on the duopoly of Apple and Alphabet-owned Google as the dominant mobile platforms in Seoul on Tuesday.

Also Read | Apple vs Epic Games: iPhone-maker updates App Store payment rules

Speaking at the Global Conference for Mobile Application Ecosystem Fairness in South Korea, Sweeney said the metaverse had the potential to become a multitrillion-dollar part of the global economy over the next few decades. The metaverse would be open to all companies as equals.

He added Google and Apple policies banned other companies from creating the metaverse in their attempts to dominate and tax it, Bloomberg reported. He then said these companies must not be allowed to dominate digital lives.

Also Read | Apple vs Epic Games: Is Epic Games really winning? Apple refuses to reinstate Fortnite on iOS until final verdict

Sweeney has been vocal in his disdain for Apple, stemming from the Cupertino-based tech giant’s decision to remove the hugely popular Fortnite from its platform. Epic Games had allegedly installed a system to bypass Apple’s 30% cut of in-app payments, leading the iPhone maker to suspend the company’s developer account.

Epic Games sued Apple for anticompetitive reasons as it attempted to get the tech giant to unlock its App Store payment gateway to third-party platforms, winning partial victory.

Also Read | Apple vs Epic Games: In Federal Judge’s ruling in antitrust case, iPhone maker loses but wins

Apple and Google have consistently claimed that these fees helped provide user security and a worldwide audience for developers. In September, South Korea became the first country to legally mandate mobile platforms to offer users the option to choose their payment handlers. Apple, however, failed to meet the deadline on its plans to comply.

Also Read | Apple vs Epic Games: iPhone-maker appeals to overturn ruling it called a ‘resounding victory’

Speaking at the conference in Seoul, Sweeney said Apple locked a billion users into a single store and payment processor. Apple complies with oppressive foreign laws that are used to surveil users, but is ignoring laws passed by a democracy such as South Korea, Bloomberg reported.

While Google did meet the deadline, it failed to meet developers’ expectations. The Alphabet-owned company has allowed developers to use external payment platforms, but is still charging a commission on apps sold through the Play Store.

Also Read | Apple vs Epic Games: Court junks iPhone maker’s plea for stay on ruling over in-app payments

Sweeney criticised Google’s approach of charging fees for payments it doesn’t process, and called it “crazy”. He also praised South Korea for leading the battle against monopolistic practices.

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