Epic Games refers Apple to European Commission after button design dispute

Update, Saturday July 6: Epic Games updated its statement to confirm that Apple has accepted his submission.

In a brief release, Epic said, “Update: Apple has informed us that our previously rejected Epic Games Store notarization request has now been accepted.”

Epic has not disclosed whether it has withdrawn its call for the European Commission to investigate its “concerns.”

The original story follows.

Epic Games has taken Apple to the European Commission over the rejection of the notarization request. According to Epic Games, Apple’s refusal is “arbitrary, obstructive and in breach of the Digital Markets Act (DMA)”.

In a statement on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Epic said Apple was having issues with its call-to-action buttons. Epic said the “Download” and “In-App Purchases” buttons look too similar to Apple’s own buttons.

Epic says it uses the words “install” and “in-app purchases” because it follows naming conventions that app users are already familiar with.

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“Apple has now rejected our request to notarize the Epic Games Store twice, claiming that the design and placement of Epic’s ‘Install’ button is too similar to Apple’s ‘Download’ button, and that our ‘In-App Purchases’ label is too similar to the App Store’s ‘In-App Purchases’ label,” Epic Games wrote.

“We use the same ‘Install’ and ‘In-App Purchases’ naming conventions used in popular app stores across platforms, and follow standard conventions for buttons in iOS apps. We’re simply trying to build a store that is easy for mobile users to understand, and disclosing in-app purchases is a regulatory best practice that all stores follow today.

“Apple’s rejection is arbitrary, obstructive, and in violation of the DMA, and we have shared our concerns with the European Commission,” Epic concluded. “Provided Apple faces no further obstacles, we remain ready to launch on the Epic Games Store and Fortnite on iOS in the EU in the coming months.”

Unfortunately, EU regulators have recently launched a new investigation into claims that Apple is not complying with EU rules.

The European Commission, which opened an investigation into Apple’s alleged non-compliance in March, has accused Apple of violating the Digital Markets Act, meaning it could face a fine of up to 10 percent of the company’s global annual turnover. That may not sound like much, but when you consider that Apple generates £301 billion ($383 billion) a year, it’s a hefty penalty.

As Tom explained to us at the time, Apple’s previously announced solution to comply with the DMA rules had been criticized for its costs and limits, making it expensive to launch games or apps outside the App Store — something Tim Sweeney, the boss of legal rival Epic Games, called “nonsense.”

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