Facebook shows reluctance in handing-over 17,000 documents over and above 1600 already sent in the Apple Vs. EPIC Games case

Facebook Apple EPIC Games
Facebook refusing to comply in Apple Inc. Vs. EPIC Games case? Pic credit: Marco Paköeningrat/Eston via Flickr

Facebook is now one of the forces Apple Inc. has to deal with in its case against EPIC Games. The social media giant is currently showing extreme reluctance in handing over about 17,000 documents in addition to the 1,600 already sent.

There are less than 30 days to the EPIC Games Vs. Apple Inc. trail and Facebook is now insisting the iPhone maker is making an “untimely, unfair, and unjustified request to redo fact discovery.”

Why is Apple Inc. demanding documents from Facebook for its case against EPIC Games?

Apple wants a “limited set of documents” that the company claims it needs for a fair cross-examination. The documents that Apple Inc. is demanding concern Facebook executive Vivek Sharma.

Mr. Sharma could testify on behalf of EPIC Games. He would testify about Apple’s restrictions on iOS app distribution, the App Store process, and Facebook’s interactions with Apple.

Incidentally, Apple Inc. is demanding about 17,000 documents from Facebook. These documents are in addition to the 1,600 documents that Facebook has already handed over.

Apple claims the additional documents are relevant in the case. However, Facebook says that producing tens of thousands of documents is an “untimely, unfair, and unjustified request to redo fact discovery.” Of the 1,600 documents, 200 are about Sharma. However, Apple Inc. claims they aren’t enough.

Interestingly, Apple had initially agreed not to demand additional documents if no Facebook executives testified. However, EPIC Games added Sharma to its witness list. As expected, Apple reinitiated its fight for documents pertaining to the person.

Facebook playing hardball about handing over documents:

Facebook is apparently using delay tactics to avoid handing over documents, claims Apple Inc. The social media giant said:

“If Apple believed that production was insufficient in any way, it had every opportunity to move to compel within 7 days of the close of discovery as required by the Court’s Rules. Apple chose not to, making this motion untimely. Instead, claiming surprise by Epic’s disclosure of Mr. Sharma as a trial witness – even though Epic’s complaint quoted him by name – Apple now demands that Facebook review and produce an enormous number of additional documents.”

Facebook is also claiming Apple Inc. is asking for additional unrelated documents pertaining to iOS 14 and Facebook’s response to App Tracking Transparency. The social media giant has objected to the same citing the request is irrelevant to the case.

Apple, on the other hand, claims it repeatedly asked but Facebook kept on delaying. “Despite Facebook’s knowledge of the time constraints in this action, it stalled for five days purportedly because “there is unavoidable technical processing time baked into” investigating the burden of production, and finally admitted on March 29 it did not intend to produce more documents.”

Apple Inc. has strongly maintained the court should order Facebook to comply with its request for Facebook’s documents. Facebook’s compliance would ensure “Apple has a fair opportunity to cross-examine the newly-disclosed trial witness.”

Facebook has counterargued that the company shouldn’t be compelled to “review tens of thousands more documents because Apple wants to go fishing for some theoretical additional cross material.” As such, the court should deny the request, Facebook has urged.

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