Facebook, Apple quarrel over documents in Epic Games v. Apple dispute

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Facebook is refusing to produce additional documents in the Epic Games versus Apple App Store legal dispute despite continued requests from the iPhone maker.

The two companies argued about the document request in a joint discovery letter filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday. Facebook is involved in the ongoing Apple and Epic Games dustup because the latter company is set to call a Facebook executive as a witness.

According to the letter, Apple requested a "limited set of documents" required for a cross examination of Facebook's Vivek Sharma, who will testify about the App Store, iOS app distribution, and Facebook's relationship with Apple.

Apple believes there are about 17,000 documents related to Sharma that are relevant to the case. Facebook argues that producing those documents is an "untimely, unfair, and unjustified request to redo fact discovery."

Facebook has already provided Apple with more than 1,600 documents — and about 200 involving Sharma specifically.

Believing those documents to be insufficient, Apple requested more. However, the Cupertino tech giant claims that Facebook has been intentionally ignoring requests by delaying the process.

"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 in to" investigating the burden of production, and finally admitted on March 29 it did not intend to produce more documents," Apple said in the discovery letter.

Facebook countered that argument by calling Apple's timing "improper," since it asked for the documents after the discovery period had closed.

"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," Facebook wrote. "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."

In the discovery letter, Apple asks the court to order Facebook to comply with its document request to provide it with a "fair opportunity to cross examine the newly-disclosed trial witness." Facebook says it shouldn't have to "because Apple wants to go fishing for some theoretical additional cross material."

The Epic Games v. Apple games bench trial is slated to kick off on May 3 and is likely to be held in-person.

 

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