Tim Cook Ordered to Attend 7-Hour Deposition in Apple vs. Epic Games Lawsuit

A judge presiding over preparatory hearings in the Apple vs. Epic Games court case has ruled that Apple CEO Tim Cook must attend a seven-hour long deposition to testify about how the company views App Store competition, reports Gizmodo.

fortnite apple featured
U.S. magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixon reportedly settled on the seven-hour deposition after Epic Games proposed eight hours to depose Cook and Apple requested four. Apple's concession came after its lawyers attempted to cite the "apex doctrine," which prevents a high-level corporate employee from being deposed.

According to Judge Thomas S. Hixon, however, "this dispute is less than meets the eye." Hixon writes that the apex doctrine "limits the length of a deposition, rather than barring it altogether," and that given the circumstances, the dispute is a question of whether Cook should be deposed for "four hours, eight hours, or some length of time in between." Hence, Hixon's ruling that Cook should be deposed for seven hours.

Judge Hixon also denied Apple's request to subpoena internal documents related to ‌Epic Games‌' relationship with Samsung, which Apple alleged would prove that its ‌App Store‌'s practices are largely consistent with other industry players.

In other words, if Apple can prove that Samsung made similar decisions in how it distributes ‌Epic Games‌' Fortnite, then it could argue that the company's antitrust argument is unconvincing.

However, Hixon called the request "a quirky deep dive" into arrangements between the two companies, which "cannot serve as a stand-in for some larger category of market participants."

In another development, Hixon ordered Apple to make "best efforts" to produce internal payment-processing documents, after it criticized the company as "frustrating and unsatisfactory" in its attempts to stall their release to Epic.

According to Law360, Apple counsel representatives Jay Srinivasan of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher argued that the large size of the company meant the documents would take time to produce, and claimed that ‌Epic Games‌ has not prioritized its requests.

"You're not really offering a solution to this problem," Judge Hixson told Srinivasan. "You're just saying, 'No, we can't do it.' That feels frustrating and unsatisfactory to me."

‌Epic Games‌‌ in August added a Fortnite update that allowed customers to purchase in-game currency directly from ‌Epic Games‌, skirting Apple's in-app purchases. That is against Apple's rules, and the move led Apple to pull the app from the App Store.

After that, ‌‌Epic Games‌‌ filed a planned lawsuit against Apple, and Apple ultimately terminated ‌‌Epic Games‌‌' developer account. Fortnite has not been available on iOS devices since August, and as Epic refuses to comply with the ‌‌App Store‌‌ rules, there is no path for it to return to the ‌‌App Store‌‌.

The trial between ‌Epic Games‌ and Apple is scheduled to begin in May 2021.

Top Rated Comments

HQuest Avatar
9 months ago
Tim Cook: I don’t want to be here for an arbitrary length of 7 hours
Judge: this is the law.
Tim Cook: what if I don’t comply?
Judge: then you will get punished.
Tim Cook: that’s what Epic did. They had a legal agreement, they broke it and got punished. Any further questions?
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Maximara Avatar
9 months ago
I don't understand why this judge is given Apple such a hard time. It has been ruled that Epic's problems are a "self infected wound" so why is this even a thing? What does Epic have that will take seven hours to go through?! Sounds more like they are on a fishing expedition.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
willyx Avatar
9 months ago

Don’t like the App Store? Go dev for Android. Or the open web. Very simple. App Store is more than fair.
Fortunately, the "fairness" of the App Store is not for you to judge :D
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
9 months ago

Tim Cook is not what best for Apple and the product innovation has been severely downgraded since 2015.
Yup.

Abject failures like AirPods and the M1 chip are here to remind us how terrible for Apple Cook is.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IllinoisCorn Avatar
9 months ago

I don't understand why this judge is given Apple such a hard time. It has been ruled that Epic's problems are a "self infected wound" so why is this even a thing? What does Epic have that will take seven hours to go through?! Sounds more like they are on a fishing expedition.
I'm an attorney. 7 hour depositions are not uncommon for a witness of this magnitude. I've been in depositions of a single witness that lasted days.

And yes, depositions are, in many respects, fishing expeditions. Different story when the witness is testifying at trial.

Tim will not be allowed to give corporate speak nonsense. He will be grilled. And I hope we get to see the video one day (I assume this deposition will be on video).
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kk200 Avatar
9 months ago

Such as? Did someone take you to the apple store and force you to buy an Apple product and NOT return it with in the 2 week return period?
You paid for you phone in full price. It is not a rent-phone. Apple has no right to tell you what you can use an what you cannot
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

fortnite apple featured

Epic Games v. Apple Trial Wraps Up, But We Likely Won't Know the Outcome for Months

Monday May 24, 2021 4:58 pm PDT by
The three week Epic Games v. Apple trial wrapped up today, with a series of debates that were held in lieu of traditional closing arguments. The wrap up follows Apple CEO Tim Cook's testimony last week, which saw him grilled by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers on Apple's App Store policies. As outlined by Protocol, at the conclusion of the trial, Rogers aimed to get at the heart of the dispute...
fortnite apple featured

Apple Seeks Early Motion to Reject Epic's Claim It's Being Denied iOS Access

Wednesday May 19, 2021 4:03 am PDT by
As part of the Apple vs. Epic Games legal battle, Apple has filed a motion asking for a judge ruling on one of the ten claims that Epic Games had made against it. Specifically, Apple is seeking a partial judgment on the claim that iOS is an "essential facility" and denies Epic's claim that it has been unlawfully barred from accessing it through the App Store. The claim, specified in court...
Ridley Scott 1

Ridley Scott Comments on Epic Games' Parody of His '1984' Ad

Tuesday September 1, 2020 5:19 am PDT by
Ridley Scott, director of the original "1984" Apple Macintosh advertisement, has commented on Epic Games' recent parody of his ad, in an interview to IGN. When Epic Games launched its campaign against Apple over alleged anticompetitive App Store policies, it premiered a shot-for-shot remake of Apple's famous "1984" Super Bowl commercial directed by Ridley Scott, titled "Nineteen...
fortnite samsung

Apple Says Epic Games 'Wants Us to Be Android, But We Don't Want to Be'

Monday May 3, 2021 5:43 pm PDT by
The highly-anticipated Epic Games vs. Apple trial kicked off today in a federal court in Oakland, California, with lawyers for both companies delivering opening remarks before District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. Lawyers for Epic Games attempted to paint the App Store as anti-competitive and monopolistic, noting that developers are forced to use Apple's in-app purchase system, and thus pay ...
fortnite apple featured

Epic Games vs. Apple Trial Begins With Opening Remarks Underway

Monday May 3, 2021 9:05 am PDT by
The first day of the bench trial between Fortnite creator Epic Games and Apple is officially underway, with the companies delivering opening remarks before District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in a Northern California courtroom. The saga dates back to August 2020, when Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic Games introduced a direct payment option in the app for its in-game...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Admits App Store's 30% Cut Is Similar to Consoles, Would Have Accepted Special Deal With Apple

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and during the second day of the trial, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney continued his testimony against Apple. Sweeney was grilled by Apple's lawyers, and made several points seemingly favorable to Apple. In addition to mentioning how he prefers Apple's iPhone and values Apple's privacy policies that he's aiming to dismantle, Sweeney...
fortnite apple logo 2

Federal Judge Tosses Apple's Theft Claims in Ongoing Epic Games Legal Fight

Wednesday November 11, 2020 4:27 am PST by
A California federal judge on Tuesday dismissed some of Apple's counterclaims against Epic Games in its ongoing antitrust battle over Apple's App Store fees (via Bloomberg). Apple and Epic have been in a legal fight since August, when Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic Games introduced a direct payment option in the app, defying the App Store rules. Epic Games promptly...
fortnite apple logo 2

Judge in Epic vs. Apple Case Floats Potential Compromise

Wednesday May 12, 2021 3:54 pm PDT by
In the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, the two companies are this week calling up their expert witnesses to argue their points before Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who will make a decision in the case after a three week trial. Expert testimony is not as exciting as some of the leaked App Store documents that were highlighted last week, especially as much of what's being...
fortnite apple featured

Epic Games Denied Preliminary Injunction for Fortnite, But Apple Can't Block Unreal Engine

Friday October 9, 2020 3:40 pm PDT by
A California judge today denied Epic Games' request for a preliminary injunction that would have required Apple to allow Fortnite back into the App Store, which means the app will continue to remain unavailable on Apple's iOS platform for the duration of the legal battle between the two companies. While the Fortnite app for iOS devices will not be reinstated into the App Store, Epic did...
fortnite apple featured

Judge in Upcoming Epic v. Apple Trial to Limit In-Person Attendees

Friday March 26, 2021 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple and Epic Games lawyers are continuing to plan for their upcoming May 3 bench trial, and in a preparatory conference held today, the judge overseeing the case said that attendance will be limited due to the ongoing global health crisis (via Law360). U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has been planning for an in-person trial because she believes that the case is significant...