A new court filing has revealed Apple subpoenaed Valve Software in November 2020 as part of its ongoing litigation with Epic Games.
Epic wants data about Steam's commercial sales and operations because it "is a direct competitor to the Epic Game Store", but – unhappy with the request – Valve has thus far not fully cooperated and refuses to provide information Epic insists "does not raise risk of any competitive harm".
The subpoena – which was made public via a joint discovery letter (opens in new tab) – was issued in the hope Apple could gather information about how Steam operates to be used in the proceedings. However, while Apple and Valve "have met and conferred telephonically and exchanged correspondence in a good faith effort to resolve outstanding disputes", "the Parties have been unable to reach an agreement".
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"Valve already produced documents regarding its revenue share, competition with Epic, Steam distribution contracts, and other documents," the company said, but believes the request to provide "six years’ worth of PC game and item sales for hundreds of third party video games, then produce a massive amount of confidential information about these games and Valve’s revenues" is unreasonable.
Epic Games launched its legal fight against Apple last year after its hit battle royale (opens in new tab) title, Fortnite (opens in new tab), was removed from the iPhone’s App Store. Apple justified its action by alleging Epic broke its agreements with Apple after it allowed players to buy VBucks - in-game currency - through non-App Store channels, bypassing the need to give a cut of revenue to the tech giant.
This ban prevents 116 million of its 350 million player base from accessing updates to the game, so Epic has taken the fight to the US, Australian, UK and now European courts to see it lifted.
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Confused? You're not alone. Luckily enough, we have a primer that details everything that's happened so far in the Apple vs Epic lawsuit (opens in new tab).
The two giants will be meeting in US courts on May 3, 2021. This is somewhat earlier than anticipated, but still comes around nine months after Epic brought proceedings against Apple in August 2020.
The Australia, UK, and Europe-based trial haven't had their dates announced yet, though. Epic launched proceedings against the tech-giant in each region on November 2020, January 2021, and February 2021 respectively.
Given the time it took for the US court system to set a trial date, we can expect Epic's legal battles to continue through most of 2021, and potentially into 2022 as well.
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Via PC Gamer (opens in new tab).