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What you need to know

  • One expert witness in the Epic Games vs Apple trial will have to give a 14-hour deposition.
  • Apple successfully moved the court to double its allotted time with Dr. David Evans.
  • A judge said this was because his report submitted was 653 pages long and covered "nearly every disputed economic issue" in the case.

A judge has ruled in favor of Apple in its antitrust case against Epic Games, granting it a 14-hour deposition for Epic's expert witness Dr. David Evans.

Witness lists were submitted to the court from both sides last week, ahead of a trial which is scheduled to begin on May 3. Epic's list includes big hitters from its own company like CEO and founder Tim Sweeney, as well as depositions of Eddy Cue, Craig Federighi, and even Apple's former SVP of iOS software Forstall.

Both sides will also call on expert witnesses to give testimony, and the time allotted for each side to depose those witnesses was the subject of a recent court document issued by judge Thomas S. Hixson, answering a motion from Apple stating it was seeking more time to depose Dr. David Evans, chairman of the Global Economics Group. Apple has asked for 14-hours in which to seek evidence from Evans based on his report, which runs to a mammoth 653 pages. Judge Hixson said the length of this report "easily" justified a 14-hour deposition. Beyond length, having reviewed the report Judge Hixson noted that Evans' opinions "opinions cover nearly every disputed economic issue in this lawsuit", stating that Epic was using Evans "to cover the waterfront". Whilst the judge noted there was nothing wrong with this, he said that denying Apple the 14 hours it needs to depose Evans "would unfairly prejudice Apple's ability to take discovery into his opinions."

Judge Hixson conversely granted an extension to the depositions of two expert witnesses for Apple, Dr. Richard Schmalensee, and Dr. Lorin Hitt, both of whom will be subjected to 10.5-hour depositions as part of the discovery process leading up to the trial. In his submission to the court, Dr. Evans, in support of Epic's position, stated that the iOS operating system was a relevant antitrust market and that the App Store has monopoly power in the iOS app distribution market. He further claimed "there would have been substantial competition in iOS app distribution in the absence of Apple's conduct" and that Apple has harmed iOS developers.