Apple’s Tim Cook and Craig Federighi have been ordered to testify in the company’s ongoing legal battle with Epic Games. New court filings this week indicate that Epic is making a long list of requests for documents and testimonies from Apple, and Apple argues that these requests will place a large burden on the company.
As first noted by iMore, the filing indicates that Epic is asking Apple to supply “extensive documentation” regarding the App Store and its various policies. The court, however, says that Epic should not ask for more data than what’s necessary.
As for testimony from Cook and Federighi, Apple first indicated that Cook would be available but only for a maximum testimony of four hours. The judge denied this request and said that limitations can’t be determined until proper documents are provided by Apple to Epic.
Apple has agreed to make Cook a document custodian on the condition that Plaintiffs limit their deposition of him to four hours. The only issue in dispute between the parties is whether this condition is appropriate. The Court finds that it is not. Plaintiffs cannot meaningfully assess how long this deposition should be until they see Cook’s documents. The Court orders Apple to make Cook a document custodian. The length of his deposition can be addressed later.
Secondly, Apple requested that Eric Neuenshwander, a software manger at Apple who helps run the App Store and reports to Federighi, testify instead of Federighi himself. The judge again denied this request, citing Federighi as a “higher-level decision maker” than Neuenshwander.
First, Plaintiffs have shown that Federighi is a higher-level decision maker whose documents are more likely to go to the heart of Apple’s business justification defense. Second, if Plaintiffs have guessed wrong, and Federighi’s documents are not as relevant as Neuenschwander’s are, that hurts Plaintiffs. Assuming the requests are relevant and proportional, it is up to Plaintiffs to decide what discovery they want to take to prove their claims, and if they make bad choices, that’s their problem.
The trial between Apple and Epic Games over the App Store is set to take place in July 2021, but we expect more information to come out through another hearing set for January 8.
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