A California magistrate judge has ordered Valve Corp. to hand over certain sales and pricing data to Apple in regards to the tech giant’s ongoing legal battle against Epic Games, according to Law360 (a subscription is required to read the entire article).
On Feb. 19, a court filing revealed that, as part of the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, Apple subpoenaed Valve Software — an American video game developer, publisher, and digital distribution company — in November 2020, demanding it provide huge amounts of commercial data about Steam sales and operations going over multiple years, according to PCGamer.
Steam is a video game digital distribution service by Valve. Apple subpoenaed Valve under the basic argument that certain Steam information would be crucial to building its case against Epic, which is all about competitive practices. However, Valve said the requested data is valuable commercial information. It added that it doesn’t record the level of detail Apple wants and, by the way, isn’t involved in the dispute between Apple and Epic.
This is all part of an ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic that has seen lawsuits — and counter lawsuits — filed in the U.S. UK, and Australia. On Aug. 13,2020, Epic Games announced that it had introduced a new direct payment option in the Fortnite app for iPhone and iPad, allowing players to purchase 1000 V-Bucks for US$7.99 rather than $9.99 through Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism. Shortly thereafter, Apple removed the gamer from the App Store for violating store polices and followed up by shutting down the company’s developer account. Epic immediately filed a lawsuit against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
In September 2020 Apple filed a countersuit to stop the game maker from using its own payment system for Fortnite. Apple also accused Epic of theft and sought onetary damages beyond breach of contract.