Apple App Store developers can appeal violation decisions
Fortnite developer Epic Games has criticized business practices of the App Store
Apple announced in a blog post Monday that app developers will be able to appeal decisions about whether their products violate App Store policies and suggest changes to the platform's guidelines through a form submission on its online developer portal.
"In addition to appealing decisions about whether an app violates guidelines, you can suggest changes to the guidelines, Apple wrote. "We also encourage you to submit your App Store and Apple development platform suggestions so we can continue to improve experiences for the developer community."
Bug fixes for apps listed on the platform will no longer be delayed over guideline violations except for those related to legal issues, according to Apple.
EPIC GAMES SAYS NEW FORTNITE UPDATE WON'T BE AVAILABLE TO APPLE USERS
The timing of the announcement comes just days after Epic Games' development tools for iOS and Mac were officially revoked by Apple after its ongoing legal battle with the game developer over its decision to add a direct payment system into its popular video game Fortnite to avoid paying a 30% commission fee earlier this month.
The decision by Epic prompted Apple to remove Fortnite from the App Store, setting off a legal battle between the two companies where the game developer accused the tech giant of maintaining a monopoly over app purchases. Apple then threatened to remove Epic's development tools, which the game developer argued would cripple its Unreal Engine, negatively affecting the entire gaming community.
A judge ruled last week that Apple could not retaliate against the Unreal Engine, but the court also refused to reinstate Fortnite on the App Store. While Apple has offered to put Fortnite back on the App Store and give Epic access to its development tools if it removes the direct payment system, Epic has refused the offer, arguing the move would "collude with Apple to maintain their monopoly over in-app payments on iOS, suppressing free-market competition and inflating prices."
As a result, Epic has been officially removed from the App Store and has launched an ongoing social media campaign known as #FreeFortnite, in which it is encouraging its players and other Apple users to play Fortnite on other compatible devices and to request a refund from Apple for their app purchases.
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The move by Apple also comes after intense criticism from competitor Facebook, who has accused the company of rejecting its attempt to tell users about the App Store's fees and who has reportedly said the company's 'strangehold' on the App Store "blocks innovation" and allows Apple to "charge monopoly rents."
Both companies, along with fellow tech giants Alphabet and Amazon, are facing multiple probes over alleged anticompetitive behavior.
Facebook did not immediately return FOX Business' request for comment on the Apple's new update.
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