Epic Games receives another $1 billion in funding with $200 million from Sony

The developer of Fornite has received a $1 billion injection in the lead-up to the legal fight against Apple next month.

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Epic Games has announced it completed a $1 billion round of funding, which it said would allow the company to support future growth opportunities.

Sony chipped in $200 million, which Epic Games said builds on the "already close relationship" between the two companies. Sony acquired a minority interest in Epic Games last year, through a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony in an investment deal worth $250 million as part of a $1.78 billion funding round.

Appaloosa Management, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management, and various funds managed by BlackRock, KKR, and ParkWest were also among the investors for the latest round of funding.

The latest funding round comes as Epic Games prepares to face Apple head-on in US court next month for a dispute over the latter's app store commission fees. Since filing the lawsuit, Epic Games has been arguing that it wants regulators to "address Apple's alleged anti-competitive conduct". In a document filed for the upcoming court hearing, Epic accused Apple of using its market power to unfairly dominate the secondary market for app distribution.

"Apple's restrictions on app distribution degrade the experience of consumers and developers. Excluding competing app stores from the iOS ecosystem has resulted [in] higher app prices, less innovation and fewer features for both developers and consumers. And Apple's arbitrary App Review process is ripe for abuse," Epic said in the legal filing.

In the background of the US legal stoush are similar cases that have been filed by the game developer in Australia and the EU, and the UK. The survival of the Australian case hinges heavily on the outcome of next month's hearing, with the presiding judge for that matter making an order last week for it to be put on hold for three months. 

In coming to that decision, Justice Nye Perram said the Australian matter would only re-commence if Apple were to be formally accused of breaching Australian Consumer Law in the US or if US courts were unwilling to make a decision regarding whether Apple's app store practices are anti-competitive in next month's hearing.

Prior to the Australian judge's decision, Epic Games' attempt to sue Apple in the UK had already met its demise due to a UK judge believing that the original US dispute needed to be handled first. Shortly after the dismissal, Epic Games filed a separate complaint regarding the iPhone maker to the UK's competition regulator.

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