Facebook Wades Into ‘Fortnite’ Maker’s Dispute With Apple

Facebook Inc.

FB 0.09%.

said that the company behind the popular video game Fortnite in the middle of its high-profile legal battles with

Apple Inc,

AAPL -0.11%.

While the social media giant steps up his own counter-attack against what he sees as the iPhone manufacturer’s selfish actions in the interest of privacy.

Facebook has been at war with Apple for months on issues ranging from the price of paid applications to changes in privacy rules.

As part of a pledge to help combat what Apple calls anti-competitive behavior, Facebook plans to provide documents and support materials to Fortnite’s parent company, Epic Games Inc., which Apple sued earlier this year, arguing that the technology giant’s App Store operates as a monopoly. Facebook said that it would not join the trial, but that it would help to uncover the facts as the case prepares for next year’s trial.

An Epic spokesman refused to comment.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Facebook also criticised Apple’s plan to allow users to opt out of certain programs that collect personal information, and said the policy could put small businesses at risk.

For them, it’s not really a privacy issue, said Dan Levy, who is responsible for advertising products on Facebook. It is the attack on one-to-one advertising and the impact it will have on small business owners.

An Apple spokesperson did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Apple said that from the beginning of next year, iOS 14 will allow iPhone and iPad users to opt out of sharing the personal information that many developers rely on to create ads. When users open the application, they see a message asking them to track the other applications and websites they visit, their location and other behavior.

Apple’s plan has been criticised by a number of companies and industry groups, including publisher DMG Media, which manages the Daily Mail and MailOnline, and the Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media, a coalition of advertisers and advertising technology companies formed in July to prevent Apple from making the change. In October, a group of trade associations filed a complaint with the French antitrust authority alleging that Apple’s plan was anti-competitive.

Facebook itself faces challenges in its business operations. The Federal Trade Commission and 46 states sued and accused the company earlier this month of buying out starting competitors to stifle competition. The FTC case is trying to force Facebook to reverse its acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram, two of its largest transactions. Facebook has contradicted the FTC’s earlier approval of these acquisitions, saying that individuals and small businesses prefer to use its free services and advertising because they bring value to them.

Email Sarah E. Eagleman at [email protected] and Jeff Horwitz at [email protected]

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