PC gaming giant Valve, owner and creator of the gaming platform Steam, has refused an Apple request to provide information related to sales and advertising revenue for use in its fight against Epic Games.
In a court submission, Apple and Valve submitted a joint letter stating that parties have been unable to reach an agreement over outstanding disputes relating to a subpoena served to Valve in November.
According to Apple, “As the Court’s preliminary injunction ruling makes clear, Epic’s various mobile and non-mobile distribution options are central to disputed issues of market definition and market power. See Case No. 20-cv-05640-YGR, Dkt. 118 at 18 (observing that Fortnite’s “multiplatform nature” suggests other (or all) digital distribution channels “may be economic substitutes”). Valve’s digital distribution service, Steam, is the dominant digital game distributor on the PC platform and is a direct competitor to the Epic Game Store. See Nick Statt, Epic vs. Steam: The Console War Reimagined on the PC, The Verge (Apr. 16, 2019).”
Valve balked at the request, however, claiming that the request was over-broad, asked for “highly confidential” info and would force an “extraordinary burden” on staff. Third parties control their pricing and in-game content on Steam, and Apple is simply using Steam as a shortcut to that data, Valve added. It also questioned Apple’s need for the info in the first place, noting that Valve didn’t compete in mobile app stores and that a request for 436 games “does not show” the scope of the market.
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