Valve approaches federal judge over Apple demands

The legal tussle between the Fortnite creator Epic Games and the iPhone maker Apple has been a hot topic for more than a year. And it seems that their battle is drawing in more and more technology companies into the fray. Epic Games is trying its best to paint Apple Inc. as a harmful monopoly.

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According to sources, Epic wants testimony from a senior executive at online-dating company Match Group Inc. The owner of Tinder and other apps and a former Apple executive. Though in the former Apple employee’s case, the Cupertino giant suggested that his whereabouts are currently not known.

Epic Games lawyers will be questioning Apple’s Chief Executive Tim Cook in a multi-hour deposition.

According to reports, Apple has subpoenaed Sony Corp., Microsoft Corp., Nintendo Co., Amazon.com Inc., and Samsung Electronics Co. in the latest update, Valve Corp., one of the largest computer-game distributors in the world, has approached a federal judge in California over Apple’s expansive pretrial effort to subpoena the privately held financial records of its offerings.

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Facebook Inc., who long had a grudge against Apple with how much freedom the latest iOS update has taken from the social media giant in terms of privacy, has pledged to support Epic in its fight to prove that the hardware company is misusing its power over the digital ecosystem that it has created for the iPhone and iPad.

Coming back to Valve, the game distributor objected to Apple’s demands that it turn over six years’ worth of data on games offered through its online platform. Valve competes against a digital PC games storefront operated by Epic and lets users purchase and play more than 30,000 titles on laptops and desktop computers.

“Apple has, for lack of better words, salted the earth with subpoenas to other participants in the market. So don’t worry, it’s not just you.”

Apple sought data from more than 30,000 games before narrowing it to 436 that are available on both Epic and Valve’s digital stores. Valve complained about the heavy burden placed on its 350 employees, based in Bellevue, Wash., of pulling such records.

“It seems like a pick-a-side moment, and that’s not a good look for big tech. I think it’s been Epic’s main object throughout all of this to make Apple look like they are just picking on the small guy. And Apple has played into it…That narrative is gaining traction that Apple is just a big jerk.”

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