Apple’s Confidentiality Veil to be lifted in GTAT Bankruptcy Case

The seal on confidential documents signed between Apple and sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technology (GTAT) is expected to be gradually lifted in its bankruptcy case, according to a Bloomberg report.

Apple’s former sapphire supplier partner filed for bankruptcy protection on Oct. 6, 2014, but has refused to disclose details about the filing because of confidential agreements signed with Apple. A Reuters report noted GTAT risked losing US $50 million for violating the confidentiality pact.

GTAT commented Apple’s agreements were “oppressive and burdensome,” according to a Financial Times report. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Henry Boroff noted Apple had repeatedly changed the sapphire spec demands making it difficult for GTAT to comply, The Street reported.

Boroff is inclined to releasing as many confidential documents in the GTAT bankruptcy case as possible. “I have documents stacked a foot high”, a Bloomberg report quoted Buroff saying. “It can’t be that all of it needs to be under seal.”

The judge requested Apple to be specific in which documents it wants under the seal, and has requested for a rundown on October 20. Release of confidential documents related to the case has been pushed back to October 21st.

A Business Insider report noted it is very unusual for a bankruptcy case to be under wraps of confidentiality, most bankruptcy cases are fairly public and transparent. The report projected it would be difficult for Apple to keep the whole case under wraps any longer.

“Apple has filed a motion in New Hampshire federal bankruptcy court opposing the bankruptcy petition of GT,” wrote Business Insider. “Apple also wants its request to be considered in secret, Re/code notes.”

In the aftermath of GTAT’s bankruptcy filing, its stock value plummeted 92% to US $0.80, which resulted in its eventual delisting from the NASDAQ recently. The company’s stocks are now considered worthless by Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov.

GTAT also shut down its Mesa Arizona plant, which previously was the sapphire manufacturing plant for Apple products including the Apple Watch, and sapphire home buttons and camera lens in iPhones and iPads, according to a Seeking Alpha report. GTAT has laid-off workers at its Arizona plant. It remains unclear as to how this will impact Apple’s future sapphire supply and product roll out.

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