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In Korea, Epic Games CEO Sweeney calls Google 'crazy' and says 'Apple must be stopped'

Zachery Eanes, The News & Observer on

Published in Science & Technology News

“Over the coming decades, the metaverse has the potential to become a multitrillion-dollar part of the world economy — open to all companies around the world as equals,” Sweeney said. “Apple and Google policies ban other companies from creating the metaverse so that they can dominate it themselves and tax it. We must not allow these two companies to control our digital lives.”

Sweeney has said that Apple and Google’s app store rules would become a roadblock to any sort of commerce that could happen within a theoretical metaverse. After the conference in Korea, Sweeney told a Bloomberg reporter that there needs to be a universal app store that works across multiple operating systems. He said Epic is working with partners on a potential store that would let users buy software on one store and then use it on multiple platforms.

“What the world really needs now is a single store that works with all platforms,” Sweeney told Bloomberg. “Right now software ownership is fragmented between the iOS App Store, the Android Google Play marketplace, different stores on Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch, and then Microsoft Store and the Mac App Store.”

For more than a year, Sweeney has been in court battling Apple and Google over how they run their app stores. Epic’s popular game Fornite was kicked off both stores after Epic inserted an update into the game to get around Apple and Google’s 30% fee on in-app purchases. That immediately led to twin antitrust lawsuits against Apple and Google’s app store rules.

A judge ruled earlier this year that Apple no longer can block developers from adding links to alternative payment systems within apps, but stopped short of labeling Apple a monopolist. Apple is appealing that ruling, but the judge’s decision is going into effect next month.

 

The lawsuit with Google is moving slower, but should go on trial next year.

The ramped-up tension between Epic and the two tech giants comes as Apple and Google prepare to expand their presence on Epic’s home turf in the Triangle.

Both Google and Apple have plans to hire thousands of employees in the coming years, as they build new offices in downtown Durham and Research Triangle Park.

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