Less than a month away from the Epic Games v. Apple trial, Facebook is refusing to produce additional documents despite continued requests from the Cupertino tech giant, according to 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 legal battle because the company’s VP of gaming Vivek Sharma is set to testify on behalf of Epic. Apple asked the social media giant for more than 17,000 documents which are required for a cross-examination of Sharma who will testify about the App Store, iOS app distribution, and Facebook’s relationship with Apple in the trial.
Facebook not handing over documents in Epic Games v. Apple fight despite continued requests
Facebook has already provided Apple with more than 1,600 documents, including about 200 documents involving Sharma specifically. However, the Cupertino tech giant believes there are 17,000 documents related to Sharma that are relevant to the case. In response to the request, Facebook said that producing those documents is an “untimely, unfair, and unjustified request to redo fact discovery.”
“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 stated in the discovery letter.
In response, Facebook called Apple’s timing “improper,” since it asked for the documents after the discovery period had closed. Facebook also claims that Apple is asking for additional documents relating to iOS 14 which are completely irrelevant to the case.
“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,” the company 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 the social media giant to comply with its request so that it has a “fair opportunity to cross-examine the newly-disclosed trial witness.” Facebook argues that it should not have to “review tens of thousands more documents because Apple wants to go fishing for some theoretical additional cross material,” and that the court should deny Apple’s request.