Valve, the makers behind popular game distribution platform Steam, will be forced to hand over aggregate historical sales, price, and other information on 436 games hosted on the store to Apple, as part of the Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust case.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that Apple’s subpoena for the data to Valve was valid, however, noted that Apple has “salted the earth with subpoenas,” telling Valve “don’t worry, it’s not just you.” Apple’s original subpoena requested data from Valve about Steam dating as far back as 2015, the judge’s ruling however will only require Valve to produce data limited to as early as 2017.
Apple’s lawyer, Jay P. Srinivasan, says that the request is doable, and points out that Apple could have requested data on all 30,000 games on the Steam store, but that it instead is only requesting data on 436 games. Apple continued to defend its subpoena, calling Valve a “prominent player” in the complete picture of relevant markets like the App Store.
The Competition Appeal Tribunal rules that Epic Game’s lawsuit against Apple is more pertinent in the US, so it is at a standstill in the UK.
It seems that as this case works its way through discovery the industry practices are likely to be revalued looking forward. The overhead of 30% on game sales is brutal as every publisher and developer in Steam and Apple knows all too well. The monopoly practices are problematic. In Canada, the Competition act applies and abuse of a dominant position applies.