Judge 'inclined' to block Apple's move to hamper Epic's Unreal Engine


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Aug 24 (Reuters) - A federal judge on Monday said she was "inclined" to grant Epic Games' request to block Apple Inc's AAPL.O move to terminate the "Fortnite" creator's developer accounts.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said during a hearing that she viewed Epic's request through "two lenses." One was with the harm that would come to Epic's games, and the other was what harm would come to the hundreds of other games that would be hurt if Epic was unable to maintain its Unreal Engine software.

“I can tell you right now that I am inclined not to grant relief with respect to the games, but I am inclined to grant relief with respect to the Unreal Engine,” she said.

Unreal Engine is a software tool for computer graphics that hundreds of other games and other apps use to power their offerings.

Epic Games on Friday had asked the court to issue an order blocking Apple's removal of "Fortnite" from Apple's App Store, saying that the removal - along with Apple's threat to terminate the company's developer account - would cause irreparable harm to Epic.

Apple removed the popular game earlier this month after Epic rolled out its own method of making purchases within the game, which Apple said violated its App Store rules. Those rules require games and other apps to use Apple's in-app payment system, which charges commissions of between 15% and 30%.

Epic sued Apple over the removal, claiming the App Store rules violate antitrust laws. Epic also launched a public relations campaign, with a #FreeFortnite social media push and a parody of Apple's famous "1984" ad.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler)

((Stephen.Nellis@thomsonreuters.com; (415) 344-4934;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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