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Apple asks court to seal objections against sapphire supplier GT's bankruptcy filing

Apple asks court to seal objections against sapphire supplier GT's bankruptcy filing

October 15, 2014

Apple wants to officially challenge the recent bankruptcy filing of GT Advanced Technologies, but only sub rosa.

The California-based tech company has asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Hampshire to seal its objections against its New Hampshire-based sapphire crystal supplier’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing.

“The Cupertino technology giant filed a motion Tuesday asking to make its arguments under court seal to safeguard sensitive data, such as research and development details and other information related to its business process,” Re/code reports.

As reported just yesterday, GT’s agreement with Apple imposes a fine of up to $50 million per occurrence for leaking information about any of the tech giant’s unannounced products. The beleaguered sapphire maker has asked court permission to disclose the details of the agreement to better help it negotiate deals with creditors, equity holders, and other stakeholders.

But Apple is apparently bent on keeping things secret, even as the state of New Hampshire has lodged an objection to the secrecy.

Apple was reportedly “surprised” by GT’s bankruptcy, which was filed just over a week ago. Apple’s withholding of a $139 million payment due to the sapphire maker was reportedly a big reason behind the bankruptcy.

Following its bankruptcy filing, GT asked the court for permission to shut down its sapphire manufacturing plants in Arizona and Massachusetts, a move that would come at the expense of 890 jobs.

Sapphire is used by Apple as covering for the Touch ID and camera components on the iPhone 5s and the recently released iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It’s also expected to be found on the Apple Watch, as Apple has contracted GT to produce sapphire for its wearable device due for launch early next year.

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