Judge limits courtroom attendance in Epic Games vs Apple case

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What you need to know

  • Epic Games' trial against Apple will kick off in May.
  • A judge has confirmed that in-person attendance in the courtroom will be limited.

Judge Gonzalez Rogers has confirmed that courtroom attendance will be limited in the upcoming Epic Games antitrust lawsuit.

As reported by Law360:

A California federal judge on Friday placed limits on the number of people allowed to physically attend Epic Games' high-stakes antitrust bench trial in May over Apple's App Store fees.

In a hearing Friday Judge Gonzalez Rogers said courtroom attendees would be required to wear a mask, and that attendees from Epic and Apple will be capped at six people in the courtroom at anyone time. Neither members of the press nor the public will be allowed to attend, with the case being broadcast live online instead. Witnesses will be given clear masks to aid understanding for the court.

Multiple witnesses including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney, and heavyweight executives will testify in the case. As we reported Friday, that includes expert witnesses like Dr. David Evans, who will have to give 14 hours of testimony in a deposition ahead of the trial. From that report:

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."

The case will begin in May.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9