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Epic Games Gets Microsoft Backing In Fight With Apple, Court Case Tonight

Microsoft has jumped into the ring in the Epic Games Vs Apple fight set be played out tonight in a US Court.

Over the weekend Microsoft moved to support Epic Games in their fight against archrival Apple and their App Store terms and conditions.

Epic, a game developer, is set to ask a federal court to force Apple to restore the Fortnite app to the App Store, and block the iPhone maker from cutting off Epic’s developer tools and limiting its ability to provide key graphics technology to other apps.

Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith claims European and U.S. regulators should examine the app store practices of Apple. Smith complained about the barriers the store creates to getting on devices and the tolls charged app makers, saying these actions create a more serious barrier than Microsoft’s own Windows ever did when the company was found guilty of violating U.S. antitrust laws

The Epic Games graphics technology, known as Unreal Engine, is a suite of software used by millions of developers to build 3-D games and other products.

Cutting off Epic from Apple’s iOS and Mac developer tools would mean the gaming company can no longer distribute Unreal Engine to other developers, Epic said in its legal filing. Microsoft, which makes the Xbox, uses the technology for games developed for consoles, PCs, and mobile devices.

Apple’s move “will place Unreal Engine and those game creators that have built, are building, and may build games on it at a substantial disadvantage,” Kevin Gammill, general manager of gaming developer experiences at Microsoft, said in a court declaration. “Developing a game using different game engines for different platforms may be prohibitively expensive and difficult.”

Apple fired back at Epic Games on Saturday in their fight over the iPhone maker’s app fees, saying the game developer’s boss sought a special “side” deal that would fundamentally upend how the App Store works.

“Having decided that it would rather enjoy the benefits of the App Store without paying for them, Epic has breached its contracts with Apple, using its own customers and Apple’s users as leverage,” Apple said in a court filing before the court case tonight.

Apple has urged a judge in Oakland, California, to reject Epic’s request.

The case is Epic Games Inc. v. Apple Inc., 20-cv-05640, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (Oakland).

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