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Epic Games Fined by FTC in Children’s ‘Fortnite’ Privacy Case

Dec. 19, 2022, 3:17 PM

Fornite-maker Epic Games Inc. will pay $520 million in fines and consumer refunds for violating a children’s privacy law and tricking consumers into making purchases, the US Federal Trade Commission said Monday.

Epic will pay $275 million for collecting information about kids under the age of 13, the largest fine ever for a violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The Cary, North Carolina gaming company will also refund consumers $245 million for unauthorized or unwanted purchases.

Fortnite has more than 400 million users worldwide, making it one of the world’s most popular video games. The FTC previously brought cases against Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. over children’s unauthorized digital purchases.

In a statement, Epic said it has made changes to its platform to ensure it is complying with all laws and regulations.

“We accepted this agreement because we want Epic to be at the forefront of consumer protection and provide the best experience for our players,” the company said.

Closely held Epic has investment from Playstation maker Sony Corp. and Chinese gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.

The settlement requires court approval. The Justice Department filed the complaint and proposed settlement on behalf of the FTC.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Leah Nylen in Washington at lnylen2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net

Elizabeth Wasserman

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.