Epic vs Apple expands to Europe, drags in Valve as unwilling witness - The UpStream

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Epic vs Apple expands to Europe, drags in Valve as unwilling witness

posted Saturday Feb 20, 2021 by Scott Ertz

Epic vs Apple expands to Europe, drags in Valve as unwilling witness

Since the Epic Games versus Apple battle began, I think we all knew that it was going to balloon out of control. Both companies have a vested interest in the outcome of the case. Apple's whole business model is dependent upon taking a large cut from app and game developers and publishers. Epic Games, on the other hand, maintains a smaller profit margin on its digital goods, and the Apple Tax prevented them from offering in-app purchases before the big move. This week, the lawsuit is growing in size and scope.

This week, Epic Games officially filed a suit in the European Union, similar to its existing suits, covering Apple's monopolistic approach to managing apps on iOS. This new target means that there are active suits in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and the European Union. The suits all allege that, while Apple has every right to decide which apps it allows in its App Store, it does not have the right to prevent users from installing other app store alternatives.

Seemingly in an attempt to prove that it is the evil giant that Epic Games makes it out to be, Apple has attempted to pull in a company that is currently not involved in the case: Valve. Part of Apple's defense has revolved around the market relevance of "competing platforms on which Fortnite is distributed and monetized." As part of that, Apple has issued a demand that Valve turn over a ton of data about sales. The demand of Valve was for them to

identify, from 2015 to the present, every version and all digital content or items for each of these games on Steam, then (b) provide exhaustive information about all of them, including...

In that collection of things was sales dates, prices, and price changes for 436 games that appear in both stores, gross revenue for each game and each version of the game, and all of Valve's revenue related to these games. Valve points out that there is a problem with this request: they are not a public company and, as such, are not required to maintain these types of reports or data. In response to the request, Valve said,

Valve does not in the ordinary course of business keep the information Apple seeks for a simple reason: Valve doesn't need it.

The company has said that it has put together various reports, but until they receive a demand fro mthe court, they will not turn it all over. The data that has been turned over, according to Apple, is so redacted that it is completely useless.


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