As court documents reveal, Apple filed a subpoena asking Valve for access to extensive Steam operations and sales data in an effort to fight Epic Games' antitrust lawsuit over the App Store. Valve Studio refused to take part in the legal proceedings between Apple and Epic Games, citing the fact that they had nothing to do with the subject matter of the proceedings.
As a result, Valve and Apple submitted a joint court letter that indicated the companies had failed to reach an agreement over Apple's attempts to retrieve data from Valve, and the latter called this request burdensome and unreasonable. Valve also claimed that it did not compete in mobile app stores and that the information Apple wanted to receive does not show the scope of the whole market.
Apple intended to compile data from Valve's Steam service, including: annual revenue, game sales, all kinds of income, the price of various products, changes in the price of games, sales for each month, and more. At the same time, Valve says it does not have much of the requested data. Moreover, it does not consider itself relevant to Apple's defense.
Apple wanted Valve to act as a witness in the litigation. The company explained that Valve owns a digital video game store called Steam. The store's data could help Apple move forward with the Epic Games lawsuit, as Epic Games Store is a direct competitor to Steam. In theory, all this data would show that there is plenty of competition on the market, in contrast to what Epic claims.
Valve declined to provide this information. According to the company, the request was too extensive and required the disclosure of confidential information.
As the battle between Apple and Epic continues, the judge in the lawsuit will now decide in favor of either Valve or Apple following their letter, and the final decision on disclosure will be made by the court.
Back in August 2020, Apple removed Epic's Fortnite game from the App Store because Epic violated the platform's rules by introducing a direct payment system within Fortnite. As a result, Epic filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, followed by Apple's counter-suit. The legal proceedings are currently ongoing. Earlier this month, Epic Games brought the fight to Europe by filing an antitrust complaint against the Cupertino company in the European Union.