What you need to know
- Epic Games' trial against Apple will call in May.
- A list of witnesses confirms Apple heavyweights including CEO Tim Cook will be called to testify.
- Epic CEO Tim Sweeney is also mentioned.
Updated with a statement from Epic Games, March 20
A new court filing in the Epic Games vs Apple antitrust lawsuit confirms CEO Tim Cook, among others, may be called as witnesses.
Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and software chief Craig Federighi are among the technology giant's top executives who may testify in its trial versus Epic Games. In addition to Cook and Federighi, App Store Vice President Matt Fischer, Apple's former marketing chief and current Apple Fellow Phil Schiller may also testify, the company said. Other executives who may also take the stand include those in charge of combating fraud on the App Store, facilitating payments, game development, marketing, and developer relations, according to a tentative list of Apple's witnesses submitted to the court.
The list was filed on March 20, and an accompanying witness list seen by iMore from Epic Games lists its CEO and founder Tim Sweeney as well as Stanford Professor Susan Athey. As noted by antitrust litigation expert Florian Mueller, the summary of her opening opinion filed by Epic reveals Athey thinks that both developer and consumer would be better off with an independent multi-platform app store. Other witnesses called by Epic will include Facebook's VP of gaming, Vivek Sharma, who has previously said that Apple is "like the DMV" when it comes to its App Store saying "you wait in line and hope you'll get your license." Epic will also call on Microsoft's VP of Xbox development Lori Wright.
In a statement to iMore, an Epic Games spokesperson said "the chorus of developers speaking out against Apple and their anticompetitive practices has become louder. We are not alone in this fight. We look forward to making our case for competition in app distribution and payment processes."
Apple said "We feel confident the case will prove that Epic purposefully breached its agreement solely to increase its revenues, which is what resulted in their removal from the App Store... By doing that, Epic circumvented the security features of the App Store in a way that would lead to reduced competition and put consumers' privacy and data security at tremendous risk."
As Bloomberg notes, witnesses will testify live and in person, a break from a trial that has been conducted almost exclusively over Zoom since it was filed in August.
As noted from court filings earlier this week, the trial hit a small speed bump when counsel for Epic informed Apple's lawyers that previously submitted data within evidence contained errors, a deadline for expert rebuttal reports was moved to Friday gone by judge Rogers.