Zynga countersues EA for alleged 'anticompetitive' practices

In response to the Electronic Arts' infringement lawsuit against the Zynga, the social-gaming company is throwing its own barbs.

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Zynga responds to EA's infringement lawsuit by pointing out the similarities between EA's The Sims Social and Zynga's YoVille. Zynga/federal court

Zynga is countering Electronic Arts' allegations of infringement with a compliant over what the social-gaming company characterizes as "anticompetitive and unlawful business practices," Zynga said in a statement today.

The company filed a three-part response today to EA's lawsuit, which accusedZynga of ripping off EA's Sims Social game.

"Today we responded to EA's claims which we believe have no merit," Zynga General Counsel Reggie Davis said in a statement today. "We also filed a counterclaim which addresses actions by EA we believe to be anticompetitive and unlawful business practices, including legal threats and demands for no-hire agreements. We look forward to getting back to focusing all our efforts on delighting our players."

CNET has contacted EA and will update if we hear back.

In its complaints, Zynga denies EA's allegations, saying EA has no claim as the creator of life simulation games. With this, Zynga's response takes the court through a history lesson, citing a game created by Activision called Little Computer People as the first game of this genre. The company says that EA's The Sims Social is similar to Zynga's YoVille, which was released in 2008, three years before EA's game.

Zynga's counterclaim says EA is has been illegally trying to stop Zynga from hiring away EA employees by threatening lawsuits and "intimidating employees." In California, it's against the law for a company to restrict employees from going to work for a competitor.

If you want to read the documents yourself, just scroll down.

Update, 2:24 p.m. and 3:53 p.m. PT with court documents and information from complaints.

Part 1 Zynga's Motion to Strike

Part 2 Zynga's Answer and Demand for Jury Trial

Part 3 Counterclaim