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A judge presiding over preparatory hearings in the Apple vs. Epic Games court case has ruled that Apple CEO Tim Cook must attend a seven-hour long deposition to testify about how the company views App Store competition, reports Gizmodo.

fortnite_apple_featured.jpg

U.S. magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixon reportedly settled on the seven-hour deposition after Epic Games proposed eight hours to depose Cook and Apple requested four. Apple's concession came after its lawyers attempted to cite the "apex doctrine," which prevents a high-level corporate employee from being deposed.
According to Judge Thomas S. Hixon, however, "this dispute is less than meets the eye." Hixon writes that the apex doctrine "limits the length of a deposition, rather than barring it altogether," and that given the circumstances, the dispute is a question of whether Cook should be deposed for "four hours, eight hours, or some length of time in between." Hence, Hixon's ruling that Cook should be deposed for seven hours.
Judge Hixon also denied Apple's request to subpoena internal documents related to Epic Games' relationship with Samsung, which Apple alleged would prove that its App Store's practices are largely consistent with other industry players.

In other words, if Apple can prove that Samsung made similar decisions in how it distributes Epic Games' Fortnite, then it could argue that the company's antitrust argument is unconvincing.

However, Hixon called the request "a quirky deep dive" into arrangements between the two companies, which "cannot serve as a stand-in for some larger category of market participants."

In another development, Hixon ordered Apple to make "best efforts" to produce internal payment-processing documents, after it criticized the company as "frustrating and unsatisfactory" in its attempts to stall their release to Epic.

According to Law360, Apple counsel representatives Jay Srinivasan of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher argued that the large size of the company meant the documents would take time to produce, and claimed that Epic Games has not prioritized its requests.
"You're not really offering a solution to this problem," Judge Hixson told Srinivasan. "You're just saying, 'No, we can't do it.' That feels frustrating and unsatisfactory to me."
Epic Games‌ in August added a Fortnite update that allowed customers to purchase in-game currency directly from Epic Games, skirting Apple's in-app purchases. That is against Apple's rules, and the move led Apple to pull the app from the App Store.

After that, ‌Epic Games‌ filed a planned lawsuit against Apple, and Apple ultimately terminated ‌Epic Games‌' developer account. Fortnite has not been available on iOS devices since August, and as Epic refuses to comply with the ‌App Store‌ rules, there is no path for it to return to the ‌App Store‌.

The trial between Epic Games and Apple is scheduled to begin in May 2021.

Article Link: Tim Cook Ordered to Attend 7-Hour Deposition in Apple vs. Epic Games Lawsuit
 

Maximara

macrumors 65816
Jun 16, 2008
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I don't understand why this judge is given Apple such a hard time. It has been ruled that Epic's problems are a "self infected wound" so why is this even a thing? What does Epic have that will take seven hours to go through?! Sounds more like they are on a fishing expedition.
 
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LeeW

macrumors 68030
Feb 5, 2017
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Glasgow, Scotland
Sounds more like they are on a fishing expedition.
Possibly but that is how these things go if they hook something it could cause issues for Apple. Nothing is certain in this, for Apple or Epic at this stage.

It has been ruled that Epic's problems are a "self infected wound" so why is this even a thing?

Don't think it has been ruled, what you are referring to, I think, is a judge comment that EPIC could get back on the store if they wanted by following the rules for now. That does not address the actual issue though.
 
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Azeroth1

macrumors 6502
Apr 20, 2010
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Unrelated entirely to this circumstance or Apple, this sounds kind of slimy just as a general observation about businesses. What am I missing about why this is a thing?

Apple's concession came after its lawyers attempted to cite the "apex doctrine," which prevents a high-level corporate employee from being deposed.
 
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derekamoss

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2002
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Houston, TX
I don't understand why this judge is given Apple such a hard time. It has been ruled that Epic's problems are a "self infected wound" so why is this even a thing? What does Epic have that will take seven hours to go through?! Sounds more like they are on a fishing expedition.
Revolutions only start when someone crosses the line...
 
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johnnyzg

macrumors member
Nov 7, 2017
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Zagreb
Main problem is that in game purchases, especially in "free" games are provoking addiction and envy between players, e.g. kid in the class that is not able to afford certain item in game is being ridiculed by other kids in real life.

In this paper they try to describe which tactics are used on Fortnite example:

I don't know how it should be resolved. Maybe to make in-game purchases as complex as possible with double verification or something like that, just to turn as many people away from them, especially kids.

This trial is just one side product of these companies choosing not to to deal with root cause of the problem, because dealing with the real problem will hurt sales a lot.
 
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MauiPa

macrumors 68020
Apr 18, 2018
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What you do when your case is weak. Ge a crappy lawyer who tries to intimidate through legal process, endless depositions, discovery, etc all to no avail, but are costly. Let's hop the party doing this has to pay legal fees
 
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HQuest

macrumors regular
Jan 10, 2012
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Tim Cook: I don’t want to be here for an arbitrary length of 7 hours
Judge: this is the law.
Tim Cook: what if I don’t comply?
Judge: then you will get punished.
Tim Cook: that’s what Epic did. They had a legal agreement, they broke it and got punished. Any further questions?
 
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Td1970

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Jan 29, 2021
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What you do when your case is weak. Ge a crappy lawyer who tries to intimidate through legal process, endless depositions, discovery, etc all to no avail, but are costly. Let's hop the party doing this has to pay legal fees
So kinda how Apple operates. Only they can afford the best lawyers
 
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IllinoisCorn

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2021
614
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I don't understand why this judge is given Apple such a hard time. It has been ruled that Epic's problems are a "self infected wound" so why is this even a thing? What does Epic have that will take seven hours to go through?! Sounds more like they are on a fishing expedition.
I'm an attorney. 7 hour depositions are not uncommon for a witness of this magnitude. I've been in depositions of a single witness that lasted days.

And yes, depositions are, in many respects, fishing expeditions. Different story when the witness is testifying at trial.

Tim will not be allowed to give corporate speak nonsense. He will be grilled. And I hope we get to see the video one day (I assume this deposition will be on video).
 
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kk200

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2021
150
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Tim Cook: I don’t want to be here for an arbitrary length of 7 hours
Judge: this is the law.
Tim Cook: what if I don’t comply?
Judge: then you will get punished.
Tim Cook: that’s what Epic did. They had a legal agreement, they broke it and got punished. Any further questions?
Can they argue the content of the agreement? No!
Why? because there is no 2. app store on iOS. Apple can put whatever constraint they like into the agreement.
If Apple decides you should not use Parler, then you cannot.
 
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Maximara

macrumors 65816
Jun 16, 2008
1,027
472
Possibly but that is how these things go if they hook something it could cause issues for Apple. Nothing is certain in this, for Apple or Epic at this stage.



Don't think it has been ruled, what you are referring to, I think, is a judge comment that EPIC could get back on the store if they wanted by following the rules for now. That does not address the actual issue though.
"A US court has rejected a bid by the makers of Fortnite to reinstate the video game sensation immediately to the App Store, saying its eviction by Apple was a "self-inflicted wound."" Note the inner quotes - that is what Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers ruled in her court.
 
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