Macos Big Sur Craig WwdcSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • A judge has ruled that Apple must hand over documents from Craig Federighi to Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company.
  • Judge Hixson ruled in favor of Epic Games following a discovery hearing, Tuesday.

A judge has ruled that Apple must make Craig Federighi available as a document custodian alongside Tim Cook in its ongoing lawsuit with Epic Games.

At a discovery hearing Tuesday, Epic Games and Apple threw down over evidence in the upcoming trial over Apple's App Store fees and allegations of anti-competitive behavior. At the hearing, Epic Games argued that the company should be allowed to depose Apple's Senior VP of software engineering alongside CEO Tim Cook, however, Apple protested saying evidence in the case showed this was unnecessary.

Judge Hixson has now ruled in favor of Epic Games in a ruling released Wednesday. As the ruling notes, Epic Games wanted to depose Craig Federighi and to hand over documents "because he is in charge of iOS". Epic claims Apple's business justification defense speaks to the integration of the Apple ecosystem, and that Federighi, as a higher-up, would be better suited to speak to the reasons behind this.

Apple offered director of privacy engineering Erik Neuenschwander instead stating he was a more appropriate choice, but both Epic and the court believe that Federighi was shown to be "more of a decision-maker". Apple further protested that Federighi's documents were more likely to contain "particularly sensitive business information" that would take more time to review, however, the judge ruled that this actually proved Epic's point about Federighi's importance in the case.

The judge ruled in favor of the motion, stating Apple must make Federighi available as a document custodian for deposition, noting that if Apple is correct in stating Neuenschwander's documents are more relevant then this would hurt Epic's case. The court is yet to make a decision on whether Epic can depose Federighi.

The ruling further notes that, as previously reported, Apple had sought to limit a deposition of Tim Cook to four hours, however, the court found this inappropriate, and that Epic Games could not meaningfully assess how long a deposition should take until they had seen Tim Cook's documents. Cook was also ordered to hand over documents and Apple was told the matter of deposition length would be settled later.

The ruling also covered the handing over of documents from Apple including two reports given to Analysis Group to create favorable PR for Apple, and information about App Store revenue globally. You can read the full ruling here.