The California Northern District Court has granted Apple's motion to bring Valve as a witness in the proceedings against the Epic Games Store, according to iMore.
The hearing in this case took place remotely. After some audio issues, the judge told Valve that the definition of the relevant market in question was still open, as Valve was trying to prove it did not work in the market that Epic Games was referring to.
Valve's attorney raised concerns at a hearing over the disclosure of sales of hundreds of games on Steam and confirmed that the requested data from Apple would be entrusted to a relatively small company. Valve noted that aggregated historical price information was confidential and that it did not want to disclose the information to Epic, its direct competitor in the video game industry. Valve also talked about the fact that the PC game market is much more than just Steam, and that PC games are available elsewhere, such as Amazon or regular retail stores.
Now Valve must provide the court with data that constitutes a trade secret - on the annual sales of applications and in-game content on Steam, annual revenue, including from advertising, as well as on the gross or net income of the platform.
The extensive and highly sensitive information that Apple asks about the subset of PC games available on Steam does not reveal the size or parameters of the respective market, and it would be extremely cumbersome to put it together.
The data requested by Apple will reveal whether the arrival of the Epic Games Store has had an impact on Steam's service charge. If it can be proved that nothing has changed, then it would contradict Epic Games' main argument against Apple that the Cupertino company set too high a commission due to lack of competition. Valve is obliged to provide most of the data by March 8, some more will need to be shown to the court by April 7.
As a reminder, Epic Games added the ability to make in-app purchases in Fortnite bypassing Apple's system on August 3 to prevent the company from charging any transaction fees. After that, the game was removed from the App Store and Google Play, which led to further proceedings.