Epic Games Chief Executive Officer Tim Sweeney launched a scathing attack on the duopoly of Apple and Alphabet-owned Google as the dominant mobile platforms in Seoul on Tuesday.
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Speaking at the Global Conference for Mobile Application Ecosystem Fairness in South Korea, Sweeney said the metaverse had the potential to become a multitrillion-dollar part of the global economy over the next few decades. The metaverse would be open to all companies as equals.
He added Google and Apple policies banned other companies from creating the metaverse in their attempts to dominate and tax it, Bloomberg reported. He then said these companies must not be allowed to dominate digital lives.
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Sweeney has been vocal in his disdain for Apple, stemming from the Cupertino-based tech giant’s decision to remove the hugely popular Fortnite from its platform. Epic Games had allegedly installed a system to bypass Apple’s 30% cut of in-app payments, leading the iPhone maker to suspend the company’s developer account.
Epic Games sued Apple for anticompetitive reasons as it attempted to get the tech giant to unlock its App Store payment gateway to third-party platforms, winning partial victory.
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Apple and Google have consistently claimed that these fees helped provide user security and a worldwide audience for developers. In September, South Korea became the first country to legally mandate mobile platforms to offer users the option to choose their payment handlers. Apple, however, failed to meet the deadline on its plans to comply.
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Speaking at the conference in Seoul, Sweeney said Apple locked a billion users into a single store and payment processor. Apple complies with oppressive foreign laws that are used to surveil users, but is ignoring laws passed by a democracy such as South Korea, Bloomberg reported.
While Google did meet the deadline, it failed to meet developers’ expectations. The Alphabet-owned company has allowed developers to use external payment platforms, but is still charging a commission on apps sold through the Play Store.
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Sweeney criticised Google’s approach of charging fees for payments it doesn’t process, and called it “crazy”. He also praised South Korea for leading the battle against monopolistic practices.