Apple is seeking to keep its involvement in GT Advanced’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing secret as it reportedly asked courts to file its objections in the case under seal. Bloomberg reports that Apple has requested permission to keep its comments in the case secret to avoid disclosing “confidential research, development, or commercial information regarding Apple’s business processes.”
Despite previous reports that GT Advanced was requesting courts disclose more information about its relationship with Apple, Bloomberg reports today that the company has also asked the courts to file documents under seal.
“The bases for the objection involve confidential research, development, or commercial information regarding Apple’s business processes,” Apple said today in a court filing. The company said it wants to protect sensitive information and comply with the terms of confidentiality agreements with GT Advanced.
The U.S. Trustee and the state of New Hampshire, however, have filed a request with the court for the judge to order a public disclosure, according to Bloomberg: “Public scrutiny of a debtor’s conduct and transparency in the bankruptcy process is essential to fostering confidence among creditors and parties in interest regarding the fundamental fairness of the bankruptcy system.” The Wall Street Journal has also filed a motion today requesting that the court unseal documents in the case.
Some information regarding Apple’s deal with GT Advanced has already leaked out since court proceedings kicked off. Court documents showed a $50 million penalty imposed by Apple for a breach of its confidentiality agreement.
There has been some indication that executives anticipated the bankruptcy with reports that the company’s CEO unloaded approximately $160,000 in stock days before the iPhone 6 launched without GT’s sapphire cover that was previously rumored to make an appearance on the device. Today, The Wall Street Journal reports that another GT Advanced executive, COO Daniel Squiller, sold $1.2 million of stock in May and “set up a plan under which he sold another $750,000 of shares over ensuing months before the company filed for bankruptcy.”
Details of Apple’s contracts with supplier GT Advanced have been trickling out since the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month. While asking courts for permission to “wind down” operations at its Arizona plant, the company called its agreement with Apple “oppressive and burdensome” and reportedly requested courts disclose more information about its relationship with Apple. The exact reason behind what lead to the bankruptcy filing is still unclear, but there has been speculation that it’s related to a final $139 million payment that was reportedly withheld by Apple.
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