Epic’s Tim Sweeney slams Google for ‘malicious compliance’ with EU’s Digital Markets Act

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney blasted Google for “malicious compliance” with the requirements of the European Union’s Digital Markets Act.

The DMA is an anti-monopoly law that prohibits “gatekeeper” tech companies from blocking developers’ access to digital markets through means such as alternative app stores. Epic Games sued both Google and Apple for charging monopoly fees (taking 30% of all game transactions in their marketplaces) and shutting down developers from mentioning alternative stores where fees are lower.

In the Apple antitrust case, Epic lost most of the rulings but a federal judge found that the “anti-steering” policy that Apple had in place was anticompetitive. In December, Epic won a jury trial in its antitrust case against Google, and the EU’s DMA is codifying some of the principles for fair competition. But Sweeney alleges that both Apple and Google are dragging their feet on compliance.

In a similar case involving Spotify and the music industry apps, the EU fined Apple $1.9 billion for its anti-steering practices.

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“Google announced its malicious compliance plans for the European DMA law: The scare screens continue, and it looks like their illegal anti-steering policy will be replaced by a new Google Tax on web transactions,” Sweeney said in a tweet.

He added, “No gatekeeper should be allowed to impose fees for services not provided. It’s a transparent exercise in self-preferencing and monopoly rent extraction. Epic will fight on.”

Sweeney’s comment echoed what he said when Apple, which is also considered a “gatekeeper” company with its iOS App Store. We’re seeking comment from Google.

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