Apple turned down a request by Epic Games to reinstate Fortnite in the App Store ahead of South Korea’s landmark law granting app developers the right to offer their own payment methods, according to multiple media reports.
South Korea is the first country to legislate how payments can be processed in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. South Korea’s National Assembly passed an amendment to the Telecommunications Business Act, called the “Anti-Google law,” on Aug. 31. It is expected to be signed by President Moon Jae-in and to go into effect on Sept. 15.
“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 tweeted.
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
Epic was booted from the Apple App Store last August when the North Carolina game maker launched a payment platform to sidestep Apple’s payment system and 30% commission.
“We would welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else,” Apple said in a statement, adding that Epic admitted it had breached its contract, so reinstatement is not on the table at the moment.
Apple said that even if South Korea’s amendment becomes law, Fortnite would still have to comply with the App Store’s review guidelines. Additionally, Apple said it controls who is allowed into its App Store.
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After being ousted from the Apple App Store last year, Epic launched a lawsuit accusing the iPhone maker of running a monopoly by controlling payments. The federal case in California is awaiting a verdict.
Epic also filed a lawsuit with the European Commission in February that accuses Apple of violating European Union legislation.