District court judge orders Valve to hand over Steam sales data to Apple

Polycount

Posts: 2,840   +574
Staff member
In context: Earlier this week, we reported on some new developments in the Epic v. Apple legal battle. To recap, Apple recently asked Valve to provide it with sales data on 436 Steam games, to help it understand the markets Epic competes in. Valve initially refused to hand over the data due to how burdensome it would be to fulfill the demand, but now, a judge has ordered the company to comply.

This is unfortunate news for Valve. As the company explained in its original position statement, since it's a private firm, it is not obligated to store and disclose information to the same extent that a public company would. This means that Valve does not retain the sales data Apple asks for as part of its "ordinary course of business."

Valve said that, for every single game Apple requested data on, it would need to access multiple databases that it ordinarily doesn't, and collect "exhaustive" information on historical sales as well as every price change for the titles since 2015.

Judge Thomas Hixson, however, doesn't feel that this process will be particularly burdensome for Valve. Apparently, the company verbally described the process during a hearing, and it wasn't as complex as it made it seem in its position statement.

One of Valve's other key objections related to privacy. By giving its data to Apple, Valve claimed, it would be surrendering the competitive advantage the confidentiality provides. Hixson disagrees with this, too, however, noting that the protective order that is allegedly in place should be more than enough to prevent third parties from obtaining the data.

On the bright side, Hixson has thrown Valve a bone -- the company only needs to provide data on the requested games from the year 2017 and onward, not 2015 as Apple originally requested. The judge reasons that because the Epic Games Store didn't come about until 2018, data from any dates earlier than that would not be relevant to Apple's case.

You can read the Judge's full opinion here, but we've summarized his two core arguments above. We'll update you if Valve appeals the order, but assuming it doesn't, the company will have until March 8 to provide the documents Apple wants.

Permalink to story.

 

JohnSmithESP

Posts: 35   +17
The data they are asking for (2017+ only common games) is not anything strange
But how something more related to being the only way of gettings apps has anything to do with the whole videogame industry and Valve, this would have different if wasn't Epic but other company suing Apple I guess
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 372   +647
I think I would need a lawyer to take a look at the judge's order to explain exactly why Valve, as a third party, is obligated to provide anything at all and if so, who is going to be picking up the bill for all the costs since they have nothing to do with the lawsuit at all.

Being called as a witness is one thing, as disruptive as that is, but to testify on something wouldn't Valve be well within their rights to just refuse on the grounds that this isn't reasonable or even feasible at all?

I might be way off here but I think Valve could appeal the decision and get this Judge overruled: seems like quite a stretch to get dragged into the requirement.
 

candle_86

Posts: 729   +729
Valve you know provide the raw data, but don't sort or level any of it, don't catagorize it, just write down numbers and let apple figure it out, alternatively if it must be catagorize use a dead language like ancient persian or hiroglypics for names. Make them work for it.
 

franticfrosty

Posts: 102   +117
If I was valve, I'd do 2 things, 1. Send the court a Must be paid first fee of $306.8Billion for "Administration services" for having to spend $300 Billion on new hires to go through the multi-million databases to get the data manually as your systems cant do that (it can but ya know, logistics) that will take an estimated 400 days JUST to get the 1 person who only works for an hour a year deal with it, the transferring of data will take a few month at that and then theirs sending the drive by mail because he lives in Antarctica which will take around 1-2 month alone just to be delivered.

THEN 2. I'd stick new ransomware on the drive and when their entire systems go kaput say oh darn wrong drive, it wouldn't have happened if you didnt request the data you never needed, HERES the correct drive thats massively encrypted and is 300TB in size and when unencrypted its impossible to navigate because it'll be so massively complex you'd spend millions and at least 200 days just shifting through the thing only to find out its not got what you need.

The whole thing should take around 2-5 years. For data The court AND Apple don't even need.
 
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brucek

Posts: 765   +1,042
TechSpot Elite
The judge's order makes clear they are considering the argument that the iOS app store and Steam are part of the same market. The information is needed to determine whether that's true.

I don't get that at all. Whether they are the same, or different, markets is ultimately subjective and will not be the result of some math equation that takes inputs from Valve's sales data.

Personally I feel like Valve's input in this case is about as relevant as Victoria's Secret sales data would be to a dispute between Patagonia and NorthFace.
 

Loadedaxe

Posts: 37   +48
All these arm chair lawyers in here :)

Valve is involved, indirectly, but involved. Anyone who has done business with Epic is involved, especially if it pertains to any and all public sales, that is our legal system at work. Epic started this fight, Apples lawyers will be requesting data from any and all companies that were involved with Epic for the last 4 years. Its a tactic, involve anyone you can to make Epic a nightmare to deal with and viola, Epic becomes the black sheep that no one wants to do business with.

It's done in the legal system everyday. The rich win, especially in Corporate America This is no special case. Epic was retarded to go after Apple, Apple has deep pockets that Epic does not. poke a bear and you get eaten. Just look at history. Of course its not right, but our legal system has never been either.
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 764   +593
If I was valve, I'd do 2 things, 1. Send the court a Must be paid first fee of $306.8Billion for "Administration services" for having to spend $300 Billion on new hires to go through the multi-million databases to get the data manually as your systems cant do that (it can but ya know, logistics) that will take an estimated 400 days JUST to get the 1 person who only works for an hour a year deal with it, the transferring of data will take a few month at that and then theirs sending the drive by mail because he lives in Antarctica which will take around 1-2 month alone just to be delivered.

THEN 2. I'd stick new ransomware on the drive and when their entire systems go kaput say oh darn wrong drive, it wouldn't have happened if you didnt request the data you never needed, HERES the correct drive thats massively encrypted and is 300TB in size and when unencrypted its impossible to navigate because it'll be so massively complex you'd spend millions and at least 200 days just shifting through the thing only to find out its not got what you need.

The whole thing should take around 2-5 years. For data The court AND Apple don't even need.


LOL love the comment! In theory would this actually work.... well to a certain extent?
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,690   +6,051
This should be a breach of privacy and data and intellectual property.
Anyone paying attention would see that Apple never has cared about privacy. It's one of those do as I say not as I do cultures. One of these days Apple is going to hit a wall and crash. Instead of plowing through it with minimal scratches. I sincerely hope this case is the one that does it.
Anyone who has done business with Epic is involved, especially if it pertains to any and all public sales, that is our legal system at work.
Since you said anyone. How does that involve people that do not have Apple/iOS?
 
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Kosmoz

Posts: 143   +225
All these arm chair lawyers in here :)

Valve is involved, indirectly, but involved. Anyone who has done business with Epic is involved, especially if it pertains to any and all public sales, that is our legal system at work. Epic started this fight, Apples lawyers will be requesting data from any and all companies that were involved with Epic for the last 4 years. Its a tactic, involve anyone you can to make Epic a nightmare to deal with and viola, Epic becomes the black sheep that no one wants to do business with.

It's done in the legal system everyday. The rich win, especially in Corporate America This is no special case. Epic was retarded to go after Apple, Apple has deep pockets that Epic does not. poke a bear and you get eaten. Just look at history. Of course its not right, but our legal system has never been either.
Retarded? I wouldn't got that far, someone has to go after them. Brave? Yes.

You can't let Apple do whatever they want for dozens of years and expect them to be better... they (or any company that gets that big and powerful for that matter) will be more and more perverted by that power and money (their own success) and do worse and worse things over time, under the false disguise of consumer friendly and all the other marketing BS/lies.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 285   +380
What BS, how is a private firms personal sales anything to do with Apple. This should be a breach of privacy and data and intellectual property. I hope Valve finds a way appealing this demand from the courts.
It's how "law" works in America. Judges are appointed based on their personal political and societal opinions. Why do you think McConnell blocked appointments during the entire Obama administration? Why do you think corporations like Apple picks specific jurisdictions to hold these "trials"?
The US constitution was initially made for the people, it's now tailor made for Big Corp.
 

JamesBlond

Posts: 62   +35
There is a massive problem, sales includes who bought what and how much they spent...slowly the Giants are taking away the freedoms of people... one day you will be a number and that will be all you will be..
 

George Keech

Posts: 24   +29
All these arm chair lawyers in here :)

Valve is involved, indirectly, but involved. Anyone who has done business with Epic is involved, especially if it pertains to any and all public sales, that is our legal system at work. Epic started this fight, Apples lawyers will be requesting data from any and all companies that were involved with Epic for the last 4 years. Its a tactic, involve anyone you can to make Epic a nightmare to deal with and viola, Epic becomes the black sheep that no one wants to do business with.

It's done in the legal system everyday. The rich win, especially in Corporate America This is no special case. Epic was retarded to go after Apple, Apple has deep pockets that Epic does not. poke a bear and you get eaten. Just look at history. Of course its not right, but our legal system has never been either.
I see your point, although to say Epic don't have deep pockets would be a bit daft. Apple has more for sure but both will probably each spend more for a legal tit for tat than an average family earns in a lifetime. Which is what annoys me
 

Loadedaxe

Posts: 37   +48
Anyone paying attention would see that Apple never has cared about privacy. It's one of those do as I say not as I do cultures. One of these days Apple is going to hit a wall and crash. Instead of plowing through it with minimal scratches. I sincerely hope this case is the one that does it.
Since you said anyone. How does that involve people that do not have Apple/iOS?

This has nothing to do with iOS, this is Apple being a thorn in the side of Valve on Epics behalf. Then again, its early, time will tell. More will come out over the next few months.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,441   +1,040
People really let their intelligence be clouded by hatred for Apple and by blind loyalty to Valve.

Epic accuse Apple of exploiting a monopoly because they take 30% of the money from the buyer. Apple say “hey this is an industry standard” because it is and ask for Valve to submit their data to the court to demonstrate that Valve charge the same rates.

Apple are absolutely entitled to do this as the court states. If you think this has nothing to do with Valve then you are wrong.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,001   +6,775
Yep, that was the correct ruling as is documented by quite a number of cases on WESTLAW .....