Apple authorizes sideloaded Epic Games store after blocking it for a third time

Apple authorizes Epic Games' sideloaded store after initial rejections. EU fines may increase for DMA violations. Fortnite set to relaunch on iOS in Europe.

: Apple has approved a sideloaded iOS game store from Epic Games after several rejections. The EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA) facilitated this move, but Apple still faces potential fines for DMA violations. This marks a significant step for Epic, though compliance issues continue.

Apple has finally authorized the sideloaded Epic Games store on iOS after blocking it three times, primarily due to concerns that the store's buttons closely resembled those on the official App Store. This was seen as a minor and arbitrary violation of the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA), which mandates that Apple must allow alternate software distribution channels on its devices.

Previously, Epic Games had encountered several obstacles including a brief ban in March because the store's interface mimicked Apple's too closely. Apple pointed to terms of service clauses that mandate alternate app stores must not look confusingly similar to the official one. Despite these challenges, Epic's store has finally passed the submission checks.

Apple's actions have raised the possibility of a substantial fine, up to $38 billion, from the EU for alleged DMA violations. Another investigation is assessing whether Apple illegally restricted developers from informing customers about alternative payment options. Meanwhile, Apple's walled garden remains mostly intact outside Europe, despite scrutiny from regions like Japan, South Korea, and some US states.