To help win an iPhone antitrust suit, Apple is again demanding commission data from Valve

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in iOS

Apple says it needs business records from Valve in order to contest an ongoing consumer antitrust case about the App Store, and has turned to the courts to get it.

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Game developer Valve is not involved in the antitrust case that consumers have brought against Apple. However, Apple has now filed a subpoena request asking a federal judge to compel Valve to provide data that it says is "core" to its defense.

Apple is accused in a class-action suit of forcing up app prices because of its 30% cut, and how it operates its App Store. The case is also not related to Apple's previous one against Epic Games, but the company is citing that legal battle in its reasons for wanting Valve's data.

"In Epic, the Court found Steam's commission rates to be "a vivid illustration" of the effects of competition on prices," says Apple's filing (see below for full text). "And Plaintiffs sought and obtained class certification based on an expert report that explicitly identifies the 'Windows PC game[s]' environment as 'a benchmark' for the world 'but-for' Apple's alleged anticompetitive conduct."

Apple says that it has asked Valve for specific "aggregated information identifying Steam's effective commission rate by year." It says that this data is "significantly less burdensome for Valve to produce than the granular data it provided previously and less commercially sensitive," but that Valve "has not agreed to comply with this narrow request."

For its part, while Valve has previously supplied information, it does not believe it has an obligation to "supplement" that prior disclosure. Further, a Valve lawyer has reportedly informed Apple that its demand for business records "imposes a significant and undue burden."

This is not the first time that Valve has refused to supply business records to Apple. In 2021, it similarly declined to provide data regarding sales volumes in the Epic Games vs Apple case.

Subpoena to Valve Corporation by Mike Wuerthele on Scribd



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    Even if the commission rate is identical the crucial difference is that no one is forced to use Steam… they choose to because they prefer it.

    People are forced to use the App Store and no alternative is allowed.


    elijahgavon b7
  • Reply 2 of 4
    Even if the commission rate is identical the crucial difference is that no one is forced to use Steam… they choose to because they prefer it.

    People are forced to use the App Store and no alternative is allowed.
    A. Nobody is forced to develop/use apps that are subject to the 30% commission. Spotify is the perfect example: their preference from the start in 2008 was to offer the app for free inside the App Store and have customers pay for the premium version on the internet.

    B. 30% commission was the standard for digital stores in 2008. Steam charged that. Console stores charged that. That's one of the reasons Apple chose 30%. So Apple was using a commission structure that was already established as being reasonable in the market. Steam didn't have control of Windows PCs and still charged 30%. Console companies did have control and still charged 30%. 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 4
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,921member
    Even if the commission rate is identical the crucial difference is that no one is forced to use Steam… they choose to because they prefer it.

    People are forced to use the App Store and no alternative is allowed.
    No one is forced to use an iPhone. Nor a Nintendo. Nor a PlayStation. Nor to shop inside Target… All of which where they only allow you to buy the products from the vendors they allowed! But muh freedoms!
    edited April 18 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 4
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,073member
    Even if the commission rate is identical the crucial difference is that no one is forced to use Steam… they choose to because they prefer it.

    People are forced to use the App Store and no alternative is allowed.



    That's complete nonsense.

    If Steam can charge 30% commission (which is rumored that they do) when there are other choices, then how is charging 30% commission when there that no other choices ...... anti-competitive? Logic, which your argument lacks, would dictate that because of others choices (competition), Steam would not be able to charge 30% commission and Apple App Store can charge 30% commission only because there are no other choices (competition).

    Google Play Store charges 30% commission and there are dozens of other app stores to choose from on Android phones. The fact that the Google Play Store is a monopoly on Android is because the vast majority of Android users chooses to use it. There is nothing illegal about having a monopoly share  of the market. Not under US anti-trust laws. 

    This case is about the 30% commission that Apple charges the developers in the Apple App Store.
    edited April 18
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