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Apple claims Epic mounted coordinated legal public relations campaign to 'rekindle' interest in Fortnite

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Amid an ongoing legal battle, Apple today claimed that Epic Games organized a coordinated legal public relations campaign against the tech giant in an effort to restore interest in Fortnite ..

The new allegation comes in a series of filings between the two in one of the most high-profile tech court cases of the year, first filed in August 2020, with the trial set to begin on May 3. Apple now explains that Epic worked for months on an internal project - called Project Freedom - to "rekindle" interest in Fortnite by suing the iOS developer, according to filings obtained by CNET.

“Apple is among the most innovative, competitive, dynamic and creative companies in the United States of America, and millions of people benefit from products and services,” Apple said in the filing. "These products and services are the result of billions of dollars in investment, plus substantial time and thought, and represent the intellectual property of Apple."

The lawsuit between the two centers on Apple's removal of Fortnite from the iOS App Store after Epic implemented a direct payment system in August 2020 that bypassed the one required by Apple for developer use. applications for iPhone and iPad. In the center, Epic argues that Apple's 30% cut is unfair and that the company has a monopoly on the market. The outcome of the lawsuit is expected to have a significant impact on the future of the iOS business model and its relationship with mobile app developers..

Right after, Epic built a live-to-customer payment protocol on Fortnite for Android in August 2020, Google removed the game from the Play Store as well. Epic is also in a legal fight against Google.

After Apple removed Fortnite , Epic went on the offensive. They first released a Fortnite- themed parody of the 1984 Apple Super Bowl commercial, which introduced the Macintosh and the IBM parody..

On April 5, New York Times tech reporter Kara Swisher released an interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook where they discussed the lawsuit between Epic and Apple. Cook explained that Apple has security concerns about app developers who activate live payment systems and that he believes Apple's trust with iOS users is directly related to why the system should stay. standard. Cook also recalled that he was against downloading third-party apps - allowing users to install games from platforms other than the App Store - a process possible on Android devices.

Apple is one of four companies that ignited the US Congress the previous year over antitrust concerns, in part because of their share of developers. In July 2020, Cook appeared before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon Chairman Jeff Bezos, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

At the end of that hearing, committee representative David Cicillin (D-RI) compared tech CEOs to many monopolists in the past, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller.

“We need to make sure that the antitrust laws written a century ago also work in the digital age,” Cicillin explains. "When these laws were written, the monopolists were called Rockefeller and Carnegie. Their control of the market allowed them to do whatever it took to destroy independent corporations and expand their own power."

"The names have changed, but the story is the same. Today the men are called Zuckerberg, Cook, Pichai and Bezos."

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