clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Apple Documents Ordered to Be Unsealed in Sapphire Supplier Bankruptcy

More details to be released on what went wrong at GT Advanced Technologies.

GT Advanced Technologies

A federal judge has ordered the public release of documents detailing the circumstances that led to Apple sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies’ bankruptcy filing.

Judge Henry J. Boroff ruled Tuesday that several documents that had been filed privately with the court failed to meet the narrow criteria for shielding them from public inspection. He ordered that several documents, as well as a transcript and audio recording of a closed-door hearing, be made public.

“The presumption of public access applies to any paper filed in a bankruptcy case,” Boroff wrote in his findings.

GT Advanced had cited confidentiality requirements in its Apple contracts which, if violated, carry fines of $50 million.

Boroff indicated in a hearing last week that he was inclined to make the documents public. Except for a handful of circumstances, the judge wrote, the filings did not contain trade secrets, confidential information or any statement “that is ‘scandalous or defamatory.'”

Several parties, including the state of New Hampshire and Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, had argued for public disclosure.

An agreement reached last month between Apple and its supplier of sapphire material was contingent upon one affidavit from GT Advanced Technology’s chief operating officer, Daniel Squiller, remaining secret.

GT issued a statement Tuesday after the judge’s ruling, saying that both parties had agreed to waive this condition — and that the settlement will remain in force.

Under a deal reached in November 2013, Apple committed to making advance payments of approximately $578 million to GT Advanced for an Arizona plant to make scratch-resistant sapphire exclusively for Apple. That sapphire was to have eventually found its way into future mobile devices, such as iPhones — where it’s already in use in their fingerprint sensors — or the upcoming Apple Watch.

But according to reports, GT Advanced was not hitting the required production targets.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.