Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney renewed his attack on Alphabet’s Apple and Google as the world’s dominant mobile duopoly before calling for a universal app store that runs on all operating systems like solution.
“What the world really needs now is a single store that works across all platforms,” Sweeney said in an interview in Seoul on Tuesday. “Right now, software ownership is fragmented between the iOS App Store, the Android Google Play market, various stores on Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch, then the Microsoft Store and the Mac App Store. Epic is working with developers and service providers to create a system that would allow users to “buy software in one place, knowing they will have it on all devices and all platforms.”
Earlier today, Sweeney left no doubt about his disapproval of the status quo of smartphone software in remarks at the Global Mobile App Ecosystem Fairness Conference in South Korea, home to the first law. world demanding that mobile platforms offer users a choice of payment managers. . His company’s Battle Royale game, Fortnite, has been the subject of a bitter legal dispute with Apple and Google over the distribution of revenue from sales on their platforms.
“Apple locks a billion users into a store and a payment processor,” he said. “Now Apple is complying with oppressive foreign laws, which monitor users and deny them their political rights. But Apple ignores the laws passed by the Korean democracy. Apple must be shut down.
Google also earned a strong rebuke from Sweeney, who criticized its approach of charging fees on payments it doesn’t treat as “crazy.” Commending Korea for leading the fight against monopoly practices and for including anti-retaliation provisions to protect developers in its legislation, the founder of Epic Games said, “I am very proud to oppose these monopolies with you. I am proud to be by your side and to say that I am Korean.
The Google Play Store service charge “was never just for processing payments,” Google spokesman Dan Jackson said in an email response. “This is how we provide Android and Google Play for free and invest in the many distribution, development and security services that support developers and consumers in South Korea and around the world.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
Epic has been locked in a legal battle with Apple and Google for more than a year after forcing the question of how they handle payments by releasing a version of Fortnite that included its own system for purchasing in-game items. game was taken from the App Store and Play Store for breaking their rules, prompting Sweeney’s company to sue both operators. Epic’s legal files this week alleged that Google had set up an internal task force to deal with the Fortnite problem by bypassing the app store and the company’s fees.
Apple and Google have always said that the fees they charge on purchases through their mobile marketplaces help keep users safe and a global audience for developers. Sweeney views their exclusionary practices as anathema to the founding principles of the Web, arguing that their “policies are so restrictive that if the global web had been integrated after the smartphone, Apple and Google would have blocked all web browsers from posting to it. their platforms.
Epic Games operates its own Epic Games Store for PC gamers, which also charges platform fees, albeit lower, and Sweeney does not dispute the right of Google and Apple to profit from their work.
“There is a store market, a payments market, and many other related markets,” he said. “And it is essential that antitrust law enforcement does not allow a monopolist in a market to use its control in that market to impose control in unrelated markets.”
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