Apple Withheld Epic Games’ App Store in the E.U.

Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider:

In earlier reports, it was confirmed by Apple that Epic was mostly in compliance with EU-specific app review guidelines. The objectionable parts were a download button and related copy, which went against rules that forbid developers from making apps that can confuse consumers that elements in the apps were actually Apple-made items.

Epic had defended itself, insisting it used the same naming conventions employed across different platforms. Epic also said it followed standard conventions for buttons in iOS apps.

Apple has since told AppleInsider on Friday that it has approved Epic’s marketplace app. It has also asked Epic to fix the buttons in a future submission of the app for review.

As far as I know, there are no screenshots of the version of Epic Games’ store submitted to Apple. Maybe it is designed in a way that duplicates Apple’s App Store to the point where it is confusing, as Apple argues. Maybe it is intentionally designed in such a way that it creates headlines; Epic Games loves being in this position.

Regardless, it seems like a bad idea for Apple to be using its moderate control over alternative app stores are distributed to litigate intellectual property disputes. Perhaps when trust in the company’s processes is healthier, it would be less objectionable. But right now? If Apple wants to give competition investigators more material, it appears to be succeeding.

Also, it is interesting to see the publications to which Apple chooses to provide quotes. TechCrunch has been a longtime favourite for the company but, increasingly, Apple is giving exclusive statements to smaller blogs like 9to5Mac and AppleInsider. I do not know what to make of this but I am noting it for my own future reference.