Apple wants Valve to pass on a lot of information about how much money they make. Valve does not prefer. These are my two sentence summaries of a joint discovery letter filed yesterday, as part of Apple’s ongoing legal battle with Epic Games over Fortnite and Apple’s app store fees.
What does Valve have to do with that battle between Apple and Epic? Not much, says Valve.
Epic and Apple have been preparing to fight each other in court since August last year, when Epic added a payment method to Fortnite on iOS that bypassed Apple’s normal cut of 30% of all sales on their service. Apple immediately removed Fortnite from the app store; Epic immediately released an ironically animated short and archived case; and the two companies have sued and sneaked each other ever since.
As part of these preparations, Apple wants Valve to share information about its business. Apple aims to demonstrate “the overall size of the market for Epic̵
Query 2, Apple claims, “is very narrow.” In particular, it states that Apple wants Valve to deliver “(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 annual revenue (either gross or net) from Steam. ”
Request 32 requests documents “sufficient to display: (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 product in the app available on Steam.”
“Valve has chosen to be private in part to avoid the burden of publicly announcing companies”
Valve, for its part, states that “Apple’s claim will put an extraordinary strain on Valve to query, process and combine a huge amount to create the documents Apple seeks – materials that Valve does not make or store in the ordinary course of business – and with little or no value. , as Valve does not compete in the relevant app market. “
Apple apparently originally wanted information about “all 30,000+ games on Steam in ten years”, but reduced it to “436 games over six years”, but Valve claims that this only “makes an impossible task a little less impossible.”
There’s another dispute over “Volume 5 production,” the content of which was provided by Valve to Apple in a partially edited form. Apple wants it not edited, and claims that if “competition sensitivity is the real problem” in not giving an unedited version, then the court’s “protection order” on materials delivered to the case should already take care of it.
Valve says competition is part of their concern. “Valve has chosen to remain private in part to avoid the burden of disclosure and reporting requirements to which companies such as Samsung or Google are subject. Valve does not disclose sales and revenue information and estimates, and Valve gains significant value and the edge from the confidentiality of such information. among other things, by keeping it out of the hands of companies such as Epic, which also sells PC games. ”
The case between Apple and Epic is expected to go to court this summer.