The ongoing legal battle between Apple and Fortnite developer Epic Games will require time from Apple CEO Tim Cook. A judge has ruled that Cook must sit for a seven-hour deposition, rejecting Apple’s request that he be excused.
Apple Insider reports that the case is set to go to trial in May 2021, but the testimonies and depositions are being requested ahead of that start date. US Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixon rejected Apple’s request on the grounds that its argument only limits the length of the deposition. He also rejected Apple’s offer for the deposition to last four hours.
“[In] these three antitrust actions, the facts of the case go way beyond the historical facts of what happened when,” the judge stated. “There is really no one like Apple’s CEO who can testify about how Apple views competition in these various markets that are core to its business model.”
The judge also rejected Apple’s request to subpoena documents from Samsung regarding its own distribution of Fortnite.
The legal battle began in 2020, when Epic Games updated its Fortnite app in such a way that circumvented Apple’s internal payment method, as well as Google’s Android store. This resulted in the app being pulled from the marketplaces, which kicked off a legal challenge and PR campaign that Epic had ready to go, apparently anticipating the move. Epic has accused Apple of antitrust violations, so the outcome of this case could have big ramifications for other developers going forward.
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