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

Scrye74

Posts: 27   +53
From the court doc:

"Steam users cannot buy or use mobile apps on Steam."

"One commentator has described Steam as “an iOS App Store-like marketplace for PC games."

So, one "commentator" is the basis for this judge deciding that Valve and Apple are in the same market?? Phones and PCs are NOT the same. The business models surrounding sales for both are completely different. I suspect Valve will appeal.
 

Scrye74

Posts: 27   +53
From the court doc:

"Steam users cannot buy or use mobile apps on Steam."

"One commentator has described Steam as “an iOS App Store-like marketplace for PC games."

So, one "commentator" is the basis for this judge deciding that Valve and Apple are in the same market?? Phones and PCs are NOT the same. The business models surrounding sales for both are completely different. I suspect Valve will appeal.

Let's compare Albertsons grocery stores to McDonalds. They both sell food, right?
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 389   +668
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.

Those are good points. As I alluded to, being cited as a witness is not unreasonable in my opinion, it's the volume of information being requested and accepted by a judge. A Valve representative in court summarizing their sales and their contracts and deals with other companies, sure. Epic countering by asking for financial records, also ok.

Asking for a full database dump of billions of records however, a bit unnecessary just for a tangential point, specially if Valve can show it just doesn't keeps an established Data Warehousing procedure to access this data in a summarized way. Data Warehousing is not cheap and while I think a company the size of Valve probably should implement one anyway being made to invest potentially millions for the benefit of a third party trial seems like too much of an imposition.

Valve adhering to the letter of the law to do business should suffice but this isn't a Tax audit on them after all.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,137   +1,267
TechSpot Elite
I can't see how this could be considered constitutional. There's a difference between a subpoena for confidential information that the government wants and being forced to give confidential information to another private entity. I think that Valve should appeal this and Americans should be concerned because if it can happen to Valve, it can happen to you as well.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,137   +1,267
TechSpot Elite
From the court doc:

"Steam users cannot buy or use mobile apps on Steam."

"One commentator has described Steam as “an iOS App Store-like marketplace for PC games."

So, one "commentator" is the basis for this judge deciding that Valve and Apple are in the same market?? Phones and PCs are NOT the same. The business models surrounding sales for both are completely different. I suspect Valve will appeal.
Whenever I see such nebulous things as "one commentator", I stop reading because words like that are red flags that the author of the article is being lazy and is trying to create a false narrative. They're presenting it as if being a "commentator" somehow makes whoever that is qualified to have an intelligent and unbiased opinion on the subject.

The fact that the author failed to identify this "commentator" means that it could have been Chief Justice Roberts or a pig farmer from Bishopville, South Carolina named Billy-Bob Carter (but everybody calls him Earl). This is because the term "commentator" could denote anyone who makes a comment regardless of their knowledge or qualification regarding the subject matter.

This is how the media uses their words to try and steer public opinion.
 
Last edited:

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 420   +805
From the court doc:

"Steam users cannot buy or use mobile apps on Steam."

"One commentator has described Steam as “an iOS App Store-like marketplace for PC games."

So, one "commentator" is the basis for this judge deciding that Valve and Apple are in the same market?? Phones and PCs are NOT the same. The business models surrounding sales for both are completely different. I suspect Valve will appeal.

If Valve and Epic lawyers are smart, they can then use this to force apple in allowing them both to sell iOS apps from their store and cutting apple out.

A man can dream of this miracle happening.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,447   +1,045
Those are good points. As I alluded to, being cited as a witness is not unreasonable in my opinion, it's the volume of information being requested and accepted by a judge. A Valve representative in court summarizing their sales and their contracts and deals with other companies, sure. Epic countering by asking for financial records, also ok.

Asking for a full database dump of billions of records however, a bit unnecessary just for a tangential point, specially if Valve can show it just doesn't keeps an established Data Warehousing procedure to access this data in a summarized way. Data Warehousing is not cheap and while I think a company the size of Valve probably should implement one anyway being made to invest potentially millions for the benefit of a third party trial seems like too much of an imposition.

Valve adhering to the letter of the law to do business should suffice but this isn't a Tax audit on them after all.
It doesn’t make sense to me. I’m no legal expert however surely Valve would want Apple to win this case? If the court rules that charging 30% is exploiting customers in Apples “monopoly” then all epic would have to do is make a case that steam is doing the same thing on an open platform.

Also I do wonder how much this is just that Valve either would have difficulty or just really can’t be bothered to produce the data. I personally don’t think it’s an unreasonable request. Companies get audited or should be, the data should be readily available for accounting compliance.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,137   +1,267
TechSpot Elite
If Valve and Epic lawyers are smart, they can then use this to force apple in allowing them both to sell iOS apps from their store and cutting apple out.

A man can dream of this miracle happening.
If they succeeded in that, then the precedent set would allow those same apps to be sold from Uplay, Origin and (gasp!) Epic!

It would be so glorious to see Apple get beyotch-spalled like that! :laughing:
 

Scrye74

Posts: 27   +53
Whenever I see such nebulous things as "one commentator", I stop reading because words like that are red flags that the author of the article is being lazy and is trying to create a false narrative. They're presenting it as if being a "commentator" somehow makes whoever that is qualified to have an intelligent and unbiased opinion on the subject.

The fact that the author failed to identify this "commentator" means that it could have been Chief Justice Roberts or a pig farmer from Bishopville, South Carolina named Billy-Bob Carter (but everybody calls him Earl). This is because the term "commentator" could denote anyone who makes a comment regardless of their knowledge or qualification regarding the subject matter.

This is how the media uses their words to try and steer public opinion.

That wasn't from the article. Those quotes are right from the court filing!
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 389   +668
It doesn’t make sense to me. I’m no legal expert however surely Valve would want Apple to win this case?

If it costs Valve no money this is a good outcome for them. The issue here is a bit more pragmatic and has to do with costs:

Also I do wonder how much this is just that Valve either would have difficulty or just really can’t be bothered to produce the data. I personally don’t think it’s an unreasonable request. Companies get audited or should be, the data should be readily available for accounting compliance.

For a company the size of Valve my guess is that a healthy Business Intelligence team that also takes care of Data Warehousing would probably be 20 or 30 people. So we're talking several million per year for finding and keeping that talent but that team would take 2 or 3 years to implement the procedures. So you really want to get a third party company that specializes in fast implementation of large data sets for consuming it into reports so to get it down to maybe 6 months to a year, we're probably adding several more million into the mix.

So let's say Valve is a very disorganized company that never established the kind of department that can respond to this types of large data request (Something imo is likely but even if you don't think, let's assume it is) Do you think it's worth it for Valve to invest a large chunk of change of several million just to help Apple win a case but not actually benefit at all and continue to also be unable to sell on Apple platforms anyway?

It's cheaper to hire a law firm that can either contest this or get it down to a more reasonable summary they can actually get a few employees to compile and deliver and not hire like entire new departments of positions and outside consultants that probably still won't be able to deliver within the timeframe here.

Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence are competitive fields right now for a reason but it is not something you can or should go "Magic!" and make happen overnight: You really don't want to make huge mistakes when you want to deal with databases with billions of transactions and end up with unusable data you can't easily analyze.
 

Homerlovesbeer

Posts: 137   +147
If Valve really have to comply with such an unreasonable order I hope they deliver all the data in dozens, if not hundreds, of printed boxes of material and don't give Apple a single digital file.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,447   +1,045
If it costs Valve no money this is a good outcome for them. The issue here is a bit more pragmatic and has to do with costs:



For a company the size of Valve my guess is that a healthy Business Intelligence team that also takes care of Data Warehousing would probably be 20 or 30 people. So we're talking several million per year for finding and keeping that talent but that team would take 2 or 3 years to implement the procedures. So you really want to get a third party company that specializes in fast implementation of large data sets for consuming it into reports so to get it down to maybe 6 months to a year, we're probably adding several more million into the mix.

So let's say Valve is a very disorganized company that never established the kind of department that can respond to this types of large data request (Something imo is likely but even if you don't think, let's assume it is) Do you think it's worth it for Valve to invest a large chunk of change of several million just to help Apple win a case but not actually benefit at all and continue to also be unable to sell on Apple platforms anyway?

It's cheaper to hire a law firm that can either contest this or get it down to a more reasonable summary they can actually get a few employees to compile and deliver and not hire like entire new departments of positions and outside consultants that probably still won't be able to deliver within the timeframe here.

Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence are competitive fields right now for a reason but it is not something you can or should go "Magic!" and make happen overnight: You really don't want to make huge mistakes when you want to deal with databases with billions of transactions and end up with unusable data you can't easily analyze.
I don’t think you and a lot of people here understand how businesses work. By law, companies must be able to produce sales data for the courts or for auditors. It is absolutely something a company is expected to produce when asked for. There is no excuse to not do so really. People who think it’s an unreasonable request are hilariously misinformed.

It just doesn’t add up. Why would Valve not comply? What are they hiding? Or are they really that badly organised.
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,696   +6,055
It just doesn’t add up. Why would Valve not comply?
What doesn't make sense is when a court case requires an uninvolved third party to turn over their data on a whim. Epic has not made this a fight against Valve. This is Apple desperately seeking a defensive posture because they know they are loosing with only their own data.
 

Lounds

Posts: 766   +676
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.
I think it comes down to that Apple would love to own a company like valve and for it to be public. Luckily for us gamers Gabe will keep it private and won't ever sell whilst he's in charge.
 
I don’t think you and a lot of people here understand how businesses work. By law, companies must be able to produce sales data for the courts or for auditors. It is absolutely something a company is expected to produce when asked for. There is no excuse to not do so really. People who think it’s an unreasonable request are hilariously misinformed.

It just doesn’t add up. Why would Valve not comply? What are they hiding? Or are they really that badly organised.
Not everyone live in US.
Where I am, and in a lot of countries, there is no way a company would provide data of any sort to a third party, under no circunstances.
If these data are need to solve a court case, they are then required by the judge, and directly transmitted to a party decided by the judge for analys. Result are send to the court, who decide to show (or not) whateveer part of these results they found suitable to explain their decision.
There is NO WAY Apple could require business data this way here. And because of RGPD, this is likely forbiden by law anyway.

If a european editor / customer complain about this in a european juridiction, Valve would be badly in trouble.
 

jelabarre59

Posts: 35   +16
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.

Apple probably promised to fix the judge's iPhone... <g>