Reuters reports that U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan has granted a request from the Justice Department today that will force Apple CEO Tim Cook into giving a four hour deposition related to the high profile ebook price-fixing lawsuit.
The government had argued Cook likely had relevant information about Apple’s entry into the e-books market. It also said Cook likely had conversations related to e-books with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who died in 2011.
Apple had fought the request, calling his testimony “cumulative and duplicative” since the government had already deposed 11 other executives at the iPad maker.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote cited the death of Steve Jobs as the main reason behind the decision:
“Because of that loss, I think the government is entitled to take testimony from high-level executives within Apple about topics relevant to the government case,” as well as to counter Apple’s defense arguments, she said.
Apple is now the only defendant in the case filed in April 2012 as the 4 other publishers originally accused in the lawsuit, including Pearson, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins, have already reached settlements. Reuters reports that a trial is slated for later this year in June and, while the government isn’t seeking damages, will seek a ruling that “Apple violated antitrust law and an order blocking it from engaging in similar conduct.”