Apple sued Valve in November as part of the ongoing lawsuit Fortnite Epic Games, and it is demanding that Valve provides comprehensive sales data for more than 400 games, according to a new archive (via PC player).
The move comes amid Apple’s ongoing battle over Epic’s efforts to avoid paying iOS App Store fees. Apple argues that Valve’s data is needed to calculate the market size of Epic’s “available distribution channels”, as Epic could theoretically offer its games through Steam in addition to other digital marketplaces. But the data is also hugely valuable in assessing the games and apps market ̵
Valve claims that Apple’s claims are extraordinary and disputes the order.
In a request, Apple Valve asks for documents showing the company:
(a) total annual sales of apps and products in the app; (b) annual advertising revenue from Steam; (c) annual sales of external products attributable to Steam; (d) annual revenue from Steam; and (e) annual earnings (either gross or net) from Steam.
Apple claims that this data is “crucial” in helping it determine “the overall size of the market for Epic’s available digital distribution channels.” The courts have already asked Samsung to provide “almost identical” information, Apple said in the archive.
In addition, Apple also requires Valve to provide documents showing:
(a) the name of each app on Steam; (b) the date period when the app was available on Steam; and (c) the price of the app and any in-app product available on Steam
Valve claims the requests are too broad. According to Valve’s position in filing, “Apple provided Valve with a list of 436 video games available on the Epic Game Store and Steam, and (a) required Valve to identify, from 2015 to the present, each version and all digital content or items. for each of these games on Steam, then (b) provides exhaustive information about them all. ”
The requested information includes sales dates, price changes, gross revenue for “game version and item, broken down individually” and Valve’s revenue “related to these versions, content and merchandise.”
Valve claims that these requirements would “impose an extraordinary burden on Valve to query, process and combine a huge amount to create the documents Apple seeks”, and that they do not retain this data as part of “normal business.” (The archive also notes that Apple had reduced its request for data from “all 30,000+ games on Steam in ten years” to “436 games over six years.”)
Valve also claims that “much of what Apple seeks is sales and pricing information for third-party games,” but that the company is taking a “shortcut” by calling Valve instead of getting the information directly from third-party developers.
On Wednesday, Epic filed a formal antitrust complaint against Apple to the European Commission, claiming that Apple has not only harmed, but completely eliminated competition in app distribution and payment processes.