Apple accuses Fortnite maker of two-year campaign to portray it as evil – live updates

Apple has accused Epic Games, the company behind the popular video game Fortnite, of running a two-year campaign that was designed to portray Apple as a “bad guy.”

In a new legal filing published this morning for its countersuit against Epic Games, Apple claims Epic began an secret effort known internally as “Project Liberty” in 2019 which was designed to portray Apple as a “bad guy” over its 30pc cut of app payments.

Epic is also suing Apple after the iPhone maker pulled Fortnite from its App Store after Epic added a way for players to buy virtual currency without handing a cut of payments to Apple.

Elsewhere,Microsoft has been hit with a £270m High Court legal claim from a British business today. Derby business ValueLicensing, a software licence reseller, alleges that Microsoft has abused its dominance over the software world to keep prices of services like Office365 artificially high.

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9:02AM

Prosus earns $14.6bn from Tencent share sale 

Tencent


Credit:
Reuters

Prosus, the Dutch-listed technology spin-off from Naspers, has confirmed that it has sold part of its stake in Chinese technology giant Tencent.

A Prosus spokesman confirmed that the company sold a 2pc stake in Tencent which earned the business $14.6bn (£10.6bn)

“Prosus intends to use the proceeds of the sale to increase its financial flexibility to invest in growth, plus for general corporate purposes,” the company said yesterday. It has agreed not to sell any further Tencent shares for three years.

Prosus remains Tencent’s largest shareholder with a 29pc stake after the sale.

8:21AM

Apple reveals Epic Games’ two-year anti-Apple campaign 

Fortnite


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Shutterstock

Apple is fighting Epic Games in the US courts over Epic’s claim that Apple’s 30pc App Store payments cut is monopolistic. 

In a new filing from Apple’s countersuit that was published this morning, Apple is hitting back against Epic by claiming that the Fortnite maker embarked on a two-year campaign known as “Project Liberty” that was designed to portray Apple as a “bad guy.”

“Epic carefully prepared to launch a media campaign against Apple,” the document alleges, as Epic spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on PR companies to help it win the public over once Fortnite was removed from the App Store.

“The battle begins. It’s going to be fun,” an email from an Epic Games employee quoted in the document reads.

For Apple, this countersuit is about defending its position as a fair provider of apps. Epic Games, however, claims it’s abusing that position to bully developers into handing it cash.

7:34AM

Microsoft faces £270m High Court claim in the UK 

The Royal Courts of Justice


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Getty Images 

Microsoft has dramatically changed its image since its famed US antitrust case in 2001, with the company now taking great pains to publicly support governments.

So today’s filing of a £270m antitrust legal claim against the business in the UK is a rarity for modern Microsoft. What’s more unusual is this lawsuit comes from a British business.

ValueLicensing is alleging hundreds of millions of pounds in lost revenues because it claims Microsoft dominates the software world and prevents businesses from reselling software they bought.

Jonathan Horley, the chief executive of the business, claims that “Microsoft’s illegal behaviour has impacted almost every organisation that provides desktop software for its workforce in the UK and the EEA.”

So far, Microsoft has declined to comment on the case, with a spokesman instead saying that the business is “unable to comment on ongoing legal cases.”

7:31AM

Five things to start your day

1) Bitcoin is a ‘Chinese financial weapon’ that threatens the dollar, says tech billionaire Peter Thiel The Silicon Valley mega-investor suggested Bitcoin should be treated as a ‘Chinese financial weapon’ and subject to stricter US scrutiny

2) Uber to spend $250m to coax drivers back onto the road Company is seeing shortage of supply in the US as passengers seek to get back in cars

3) ‘Deliveroo’s algorithm makes looking after my family feel impossible’ Deliveroo drivers reveal the human cost of Will Shu’s ambition to become Britain’s food delivery king

4) Robin Pagnamenta: Britain’s new tech watchdog is a toothless tiger There is fat chance of the Digital Markets Unit curbing the dominance of the tech giants until it has some actual regulations to enforce

5) Professor Sarah Gilbert to net £15m after Oxford vaccine start-up makes US debut Oxford University spin-out Vaccitech was involved in the early development of the Covid-19 vaccine

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