Epic announces billion-dollar funding round ahead of Apple trial

Sony has increased its stake in the company with a $200 million investment.

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Epic Games is going into battle with Apple with a larger war chest at its disposal. Ahead of the trial between the companies over what the publisher claims are anti-competitive App Store practices, Epic has raised another billion dollars in funding. Epic is now valued at $28.7 billion.

The funding round includes a $200 million strategic investment from Sony. Epic says the latest cash injection "builds on the already close relationship between the two companies and reinforces their shared mission to advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially-connected online services." Sony invested $250 million in Epic last year. Meanwhile, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney remains the company's controlling shareholder.

Although Epic's press release didn't mention the legal battle with Apple, the timing of the funding round is intriguing. The first court date is May 3rd.

According to filings, Epic will argue that Apple is stifling competition through an alleged abuse of the App Store's review process. Apple also takes up to a 30 percent cut of App Store and in-app purchases, which Epic protested to ignite the fuse on this lawsuit.

Apple, on the other hand, will argue that several other digital marketplaces like Steam and the Google Play Store, which it claims are competitors, take a 30 percent cut of purchases. It maintains that its app review policies and restrictions on sideloading have helped to keep iOS devices secure.