This story appears to solely take Epic’s word about Apple’s response to Epic’s recent actions (and the headline is even worse). I see no evidence that Apple was asked for a comment, although of course they probably wouldn’t have given one.
Given that Epic has intentionally and flagrantly violated Apple’s terms and conditions, it is not surprising that Apple would be considering revoking Epic’s developer account; they’ve done this before, and with less notice. But it’s hard to agree with framing this as “retaliation” rather than enforcing a contract.
Epic’s actions of deliberately poking the bear, and then crying foul when the bear swats them down, reminds me of the classic definition of “chutzpah”: killing your parents and then throwing yourself on the mercy of the court on the grounds that you’re an orphan. It’s clear that Epic is trying to game the situation by playing things out in the court of public opinion as much as possible. As an Apple developer, I believe that certainly Apple can (and should) do much better by their developers—but Epic’s antics are unlikely to gain them much sympathy among developers, either.