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Epic Games refers Apple to the European Commission, after dispute over button design

UPDATE: Epic says Apple has now accepted its submission.

A still from Epic Games' Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite animated short showing a crowd staring up at a giant apple head wearing sunglasses on a black-and-white screen.
Image credit: Epic Games

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

In a brief addendum, Epic said: "Update: Apple has informed us that our previously rejected Epic Games Store notarisation submission has now been accepted".

Epic did not reveal if it had rescinded its call for the European Commission to investigate its "concerns".

Original story follows.

Epic Games has referred Apple to the European Commission for rejecting its notarisation submission, alleging Apple's refusal is "arbitrary, obstructive, and in violation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA)".

In a statement posted to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Epic said Apple had taken issue with its call-to-action buttons, claiming both its "Get" and "In-app purchases" buttons are too similar in design to Apple's own buttons.

Epic says it is using the words "install" and "in-app purchases" as this follows naming conventions that app users are already familiar with.

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"Apple has rejected our Epic Games Store notarisation submission twice now, claiming the design and position of Epic's 'Install' button is too similar to Apple's 'Get' button and that our 'In-app purchases' label is too similar to the App Store's 'In-App Purchases' label," Epic Games said.

"We are using the same 'Install' and 'In-app purchases' naming conventions that are used across popular app stores on multiple platforms, and are following standard conventions for buttons in iOS apps. We're just trying to build a store that mobile users can easily understand, and the disclosure of in-app purchases is a regulatory best practice followed by all stores nowadays.

"Apple's rejection is arbitrary, obstructive, and in violation of the DMA, and we've shared our concerns with the European Commission," Epic concluded. "Barring further roadblocks from Apple, we remain ready to launch in the Epic Games Store and Fortnite on iOS in the EU in the next couple of months."

ICYMI, EU regulators recently opened a new investigation following claims Apple is not complying with EU rules.

The European Commission – which started investigating Apple's alleged non-compliance back in March – has accused Apple of breaching its Digital Markets Act, meaning Apple could face a fine of up to 10 percent of the firm's global annual revenue. That may not sound like much, but when you consider that Apple generates £301bn ($383bn) a year, that's a sizeable punishment.

As Tom explained for us at the time, Apple's previously-announced solution to satisfy DMA rules has drawn fire over its fees and limits, which make launching games or apps outside of the App Store costly – something long-time legal rival Epic Games boss Tim Sweeney called "hot garbage".

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