Facebook is resisting turning over documents that Apple is requesting in the ongoing Epic Games v. Apple legal battle, says a new discovery letter filed with the court today. Facebook is a part of the court battle, as Facebook executive Vivek Sharma is scheduled to testify on behalf of Epic.
Apple is asking for a “limited set of documents” that are needed for cross-examination of Sharma, who is expected to testify about Apple’s restrictions on iOS app distribution, the App Store process, and Facebook’s interactions with Apple. However, Facebook has so far resisted turning the requested documents over to Apple.
Apple says over 17,000 documents are related to Sharma that are relevant to the case, but Facebook says producing tens of thousands of documents is an “untimely, unfair, and unjustified request to redo fact discovery.” Facebook has turned over 1,600+ documents, including 200 related to Sharma, but Apple says that isn’t sufficient.
Apple says Facebook has been continually ignoring its requests for documents, using delaying tactics to avoid supplying the documents. Apple says it has met with Facebook multiple times and has served multiple subpoenas to the social network.
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.
Facebook claims that Apple waited to ask for the documents after the discovery period had closed (and before Apple confirmed Sharma would be a witness), making the timing of the request “improper.”
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.
Apple is asking the court to order Facebook to comply with Apple’s request for Facebook’s documents so that “Apple has a fair opportunity to cross-examine the newly-disclosed trial witness.”