Tim Cook at the iPhone 11 Pro eventSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Judge Thomas S. Hixon has ordered a seven-hour deposition from Apple CEO Tim Cook.
  • The deposition is part of Epic's lawsuit against Apple.

As reported by Gizmodo, a judge has ruled that Apple CEO Tim Cook must attend a seven-hour deposition as part of the Epic Games v. Apple lawsuit. After Epic requested eight hours and Apple asked for four, Judge Thomas S. Hixon settled on a seven-hour deposition.

As for where Hixon got seven hours from, the judge writes it's the default rule for "how long a witness must suffer being deposed." Hixon also argues that the apex doctrine focuses on whether a witness has a "unique, non-repetitive knowledge of the facts of the case." When it comes to Apple's app store policies—which are at the center of this seemingly never-ending case against Epic—Hixon writes "there is really no one like Apple's CEO who can testify about how Apple views competition in these various markets that are core to its business model."

Fornite on iOSSource: Epic Games

Judge Hixon also denied a request from Apple to subpoena internal documents between Epic and Samsung, saying that those two company's arrangement "cannot serve as a stand-in for some larger category of market participants."

Another blow is Judge Hixon denied Apple's request to subpoena internal documents from Samsung. Given that Samsung isn't even involved in Apple and Epic's beef, Hixon characterized the request as "a quirky deep dive" into Samsung's relationship with Epic. As for why Apple made the request in the first place, the company alleged that those documents would prove that its App Store's practices are pretty much the same as everyone else's. Or put simply, from Apple's point of view, Epic Games can't make a convincing antitrust argument if it can prove that Samsung made similar decisions in how it distributes Epic's Fortnite.

Epic Games is suing Apple, claiming that the company has a monopoly over the App Store and that its policies are illegal. The trial for Epic Games v. Apple is set to begin in May.

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