Apple vs Epic lawsuit drags Valve with a subpoena

Xbox Series X wins Valve creator's favor against the PlayStation 5

A new development in the Apple vs Epic lawsuit, Apple is roping in Valve Software. Valve is now fighting back and pushing against the tech giant.

A court filing shows that the Apple vs Epic lawsuit is reaching new heights. Apple subpoenaed Valve Software in November 2020, demanding a ton of commercial data.

These include Steam sales and operational data over many years. Now, Valve is pushing back, touting the ridiculousness of their request.

Apple demands massive sales data from Valve

In the dispute, Apple subpoenaed that several types of information from Steam’s database will be valuable in its fight with Apple. According to records, a joint discovery letter pushes the direction of the lawsuit between Apple and Epic.

In it, Apple, as represented by McDermott, Will and Lowery, notes the value of Valve’s data in the case. Specifically, request 2 and 32 of the subpoena notes a supposed “narrow” request.

“Apple’s Request 2 is very narrow,” notes the document. “It simply requests documents sufficient to show Valve’s: (a) total yearly sales of apps and in-app products; (b) annual advertising revenues from Steam; (c) annual sales of external products attributable to Steam; (d) annual revenues from Steam; and (e) annual earnings (whether gross or net) from Steam. Apple has gone as far as requesting this information in any readily accessible format, but Valve refuses to produce it.”

Request 32, on the other hand, is massive. It asks for “(a) the name of each App on Steam; (b) the date range when the App was available on Steam; and (c) the price of the App and any in-app product available on Steam.”

Valve vehemently refuses Apple’s ridiculous request

The company details the ridiculousness of Apple’s subpoena and is fighting back, wanting no part of the Apple vs Epic lawsuit. Gabe’s lawyers are being relatively combative due to the massive amount of data the entire subpoena entails.

“Valve already produced documents regarding its revenue share, competition with Epic, Steam distribution contracts, and other documents,” said the paper. Valve notes that Apple is unwilling to burden the cost of the discovery.

According to Valve’s position, they note that Apple is asking to “ (i) recreate six years’ worth of PC game and item sales for hundreds of third-party video games, then (ii) produce a massive amount of confidential information about these games and Valve’s revenues.”

Apple is asking for data on 436 games, to be sifted from its more than 30,000 titles, with parameters almost impossible to automate without a massive undertaking.

“Somehow, in a dispute over mobile apps, a maker of PC games that does not compete in the mobile market or sell ‘apps’ is being portrayed as a key figure,” says Valve. “It’s not.”

The Apple vs Epic lawsuit is far from done. Furthermore, it will still entail complicated processes and drag many others across its wake.

Featured image courtesy of SteamXO/Flickr

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