Fortnite developer Epic Games files lawsuits against Apple and Google

on Aug 14, 2020
  • Fortnite developer Epic Games files lawsuits against Apple and Google.
  • CEO Tim Cook says Epic’s accusation of anti-competition is unfounded.
  • Epic Games launches a hashtag ‘FreeFortnite’ campaign on social media.

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The U.S. tech giants, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google parent organisation Alphabet Inc. said on Thursday that Fortnite was in violation of guidelines laid out for in-app payments as both companies removed the world-renowned video game from their respective application stores.

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In response, developer Epic Games challenged their rules in a federal court of law on Friday as it announced to have filed antitrust lawsuits against both companies.

Shares of Apple Inc. ended almost flat on Friday. The American multinational technology company is currently trading at £351.51 per share. In comparison, it had tanked to as low as £171.50 per share in March when COVID-19 pushed it into temporarily closing its global retail stores. On a year to date basis, Apple is more than 50% up in the stock market.

Epic launches a hashtag ‘FreeFortnite’ campaign on social media

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As per Apple and Google, Fortnite rolled out a new direct payment feature on Thursday that was in breach of the guidelines. Google reiterated plans of investing roughly £7.64 billion in India on Friday.

According to Epic’s filing in the Northern District of California, the developer is not seeking damages, but injunctions that demand several of their app stores-related practices to be abandoned.

Epic Games said in its lawsuit on Friday:

“Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation. Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched, and more pernicious than monopolists of yesteryear.”

Epic also took it to the social media as it launched a hashtag campaign ‘FreeFortnite’. The American company also urged players to hold Apple liable for refunds in the event of losing access to the video game. Epic’s parody of Apple’s television ad that was famous back in 1984 also went viral on social networks.

CEO Tim Cook says Epic’s accusation of anti-competition is unfounded

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CEO Tim Cook of Apple said in the hearing on Friday that Epic’s accusation of anti-competition against the iPhone maker is unfounded since Apple lacks majority share in all markets in which it operates. Even in the smartphone segment, Google-powered Android devices boast a greater market share.

Earlier this year in May, Apple had announced to have acquired California-based virtual reality startup NextVR.

Apple is close to becoming the only company in the world with a market cap of $2 trillion ($1.53 billion). It is currently valued at £1.51 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 34.93.  

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