Judge rules Tim Cook must sit through seven-hour 'Fortnite' deposition

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A judge has ruled that Apple CEO Tim Cook must undertake a seven-hour deposition for the forthcoming case against Epic Games. Apple's bid to subpoena Samsung into the case over how the Fortnite game is distributed, has also been denied.

The ongoing dispute between Epic Games and Apple will go to trial in May 2021, but both sides are preparing by requesting testimonies and depositions. In the latest of a series of hearings regarding the preparations, a judge has denied Apple's request that Tim Cook be excused from deposition.

According to Law360, US Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson has disagreed with Apple's legal argument, claiming that it "limits the length of a deposition, rather than barring it altogether." He also concluded that Apple's compromise offer of four hours deposition was inadequate, because the case has "less than meets the eye."

"[In] these three antitrust actions," says the court's conclusion, according to Law360, "the facts of the case go way beyond the historical facts of what happened when. 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."

In the same hearing, Judge Hixson denied Apple's request to subpoena internal documents from Samsung. Noting that Samsung is not a party to the case, the judge described Apple's request as "almost quirky."

Apple had reportedly argued that the documentation would show how Samsung distributes "Fortnite," the Epic Games title at the heart of the dispute.

In August 2020, Epic Games updated "Fortnite" to include an optional new payment method. Apple removed the game from the App Store, citing the requirement that all in-app purchases must go through the store's payment mechanism.

 

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