A federal judge has ordered Tim Cook to give a deposition as part of the US Justice Department’s lawsuit over ebook pricing. The government has been limited to deposing Cook for four hours. Executives from the companies involved in the suit have already testified, with Cook being the sole exception. Prior to the order, Apple’s lawyers had tried to argue that deposing Cook could be harmful to Apple’s business.
Orin Snyder, a lawyer at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP who is representing Apple, said in a March 11 letter that questioning Cook would “threaten disruption of Apple’s business” and “serve as a potent tool for harassment.” He also said the government’s assertions about Cook’s knowledge and role in the matter were “speculative.”
Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue was deposed on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. During the deposition, Cue apparently said that Cook had knowledge regarding Apple’s ebook pricing strategy. Apple and the major publishers settled a similar case with European Union regulators towards the end of last year.