Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney says Apple 'must be stopped'

Tim Cook
Tim Cook (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Tim Sweeney says Apple "must be stopped".
  • He gave an interview in Seoul on Tuesday.
  • He called for an end to lock-in and Apple's compliance "with oppressive foreign laws."

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney says that Apple "must be stopped" because it is ignoring laws passed by South Korea regarding in-app purchases and payments in the country.

As reported by Bloomberg:

Epic Games Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Sweeney renewed his attack on Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google as the world's dominant mobile duopoly before calling for a universal app store that works across all operating systems as the solution.

Sweeney said "What the world really needs now is a single store that works with all platforms... "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." Sweeney Epic was working with developers and other service providers to create a system that let them buy software in one place knowing it would work on all their devices on platforms.

He continued:

"Apple locks a billion users into one store and payment processor. Now Apple complies with oppressive foreign laws, which surveil users and deprive them of political rights. But Apple is ignoring laws passed by Korea's democracy. Apple must be stopped."

South Korea has passed laws forcing platforms like Apple and Google to allow alternative in-app payment systems on devices like the iPhone, however, Apple has told Korea it already complies with this, a response officials said wasn't in keeping with the purpose of the law.

The Epic Games CEO has previously warned of Apple's compliance with state surveillance, comments that have drawn criticism because Epic Games is part-owned by Tencent.

Google also took shots from Sweeney who said charging fees on payments it doesn't process was "crazy", a nod to Google's recent changes to allowing alternative in-app payments in the country. Sweeney rounded out his statements by saying "I'm very proud to stand up against these monopolies with you. I'm proud to stand with you and say I'm a Korean."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9