Coalition for App Fairness fears retaliation in bid to quash Apple subpoenas

in General Discussion
The Coalition for App Fairness is fighting three subpoenas from Apple requesting access to internal communications, under claims it could enable Apple to retaliate against its members.

The Coalition for App Fairness is an opponent of Apple's handling of the App Store, formed in the midst of Apple's legal fight against Epic Games. It is formed by a number of developers, including Epic, Deezer, Spotify, Tile, and Match Group, as well as publisher trade group Digital Context Next.

In a filing with the US District Court for the District of Columbia on July 8, the coalition is attempting to prevent Apple from executing subpoenas, which the iPhone maker has served in connection to a pair of antitrust class-action lawsuits.

The subpoenas request a number of documents and communications within the coalition and between its members, including its formation, activities, meeting minutes, recruitment efforts, financing, and member lists.

However, the coalition doesn't want to provide Apple with the documents. Instead, it wants the court to quash the subpoenas, under claims it could "chill the candor" of member discussions and confidential political communications.

The group also claims members fear the disclosure could "expose them to retaliation given Apple's ability to control access to it (sic) ubiquitous iOS platform." Namely, there is the worry that Apple could use communications it receives as a reason to block App Store access to coalition members.

It is claimed Apple cannot meet a "heightened relevance standard" that the documents will go "to the heart of the lawsuit" and is of "central or crucial importance to the case." The coalition insists the materials have no bearing on any existing antitrust matters that Apple is connecting the subpoenas, and that it amounts to a "fishing expedition into materials protected by the First Amendment."

The two proposed class-action antitrust cases in the Northern District of California are litigations brought on by app purchasers, which was originally filed in September 2011, and Cameron vs Apple on behalf of app developers, which was filed in September 2019.

Since the coalition was formed in 2020, and that none of its members are a party in either lawsuit, the coalition therefore doesn't have any connection to the lawsuits at all, and no involvement in litigation, further making the subpoenas hard to justify.

Coalition for App Fairness petition to quash Apple subpoenas by Mike Wuerthele on Scribd

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  • Reply 1 of 9
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,672member
    Of course the members need to hide their biased and crooked communications.
    Just look at the name of the group:

    "Coalition for App Fairness"

    Beatsmark fearing
  • Reply 2 of 9
    Just because CAF didn’t exist when the suit was filed, they could easily be involved now, since it’s a class-action, and obviously members of CAF could have been involved in the suit from the beginning. Just because they aren’t named parties doesn’t mean they aren’t or weren’t involved. That’s the question Apple wants answered, and it’s a serious question. 
  • Reply 3 of 9
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,107member
    More like “The Collusion for App Farceness”

    With an emphasis on the collusion bit.  The judge should probably think about whether or not there is a conspiracy going on between what should otherwise be competing businesses.

    “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”
    Adam Smith Wealth of Nations.
    edited July 19 Gabywatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 9
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,756member
    The hallmark of low-integrity people, they can dish it out but can’t take it.
  • Reply 5 of 9
    So after Epic goes after Apple internal communications on various issues and dealing with other companies, they’re now complaining when Apple does the same?

    Fucking hypocrites.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    So after Epic goes after Apple internal communications on various issues and dealing with other companies, they’re now complaining when Apple does the same?

    Fucking hypocrites.
    They want it their way. In epic spotify and others eyes Apple is evil. Now all of sudden how dare Apple wanting to see documents so they can use in discovery or whatever else Apple may need to use the documents for. Rest assured all of these companies are trying to take the App Store down and I sure hope they fail
  • Reply 7 of 9
    Doh! discovery is a two-way process. If you have things to hide then don't file suit. Law School 101.

    This is not coming down on either side in this case but sometimes we all read about lawyers doing strange things that eventually backfire on them and their clients. Take the situation where the judge in Michigan hauled a bunch of lawyers up before her last week as an example.

    Many years ago, I was tech lead on a product and we were thinking about taking legal action against a competitor. We knew that we could win. A binary dump of their source code showed that it was our code right down to the patches. 
    The lawyers asked each and every one of us... 'do you have anything embarrassing in your emails?'. The MD's Secretary did. She was having an affair with the FD. We didn't file suit but after a few very strongly worded letters the other company stopped selling their widget. The Secretary later married the FD.

  • Reply 8 of 9
    I thought one of the tenets of the judicial system was the right to confront your accusers.

    I don't recall being able to snipe from cover being one of those tenets.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    Poke the bear...
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