Top Apple executive Craig Federighi, who oversees the iOS and macOS operating systems, has been ordered by a federal judge to testify in the lawsuit Epic Games brought against the Cupertino, California-based company, Apple Insider reported.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook already is expected to testify in the case, in which Epic challenges Apple’s rules governing the selling of programs and subscriptions through its App Store. According to Apple Insider, Apple wanted Eric Neuenshwander to testify along with Cook, but Epic prevailed in its bid to put Federighi under oath.
Epic sued after the gaming company tried to avoid paying the customary 30 percent share of app-related revenue in connection with its popular Fortnite game, and subsequently was frozen out of the App Store.
In granting Epic’s request to depose Federighi, U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Hixson wrote that Epic had argued that Federighi is “better able to speak to the reasons for Apple’s closed, integrated ecosystem,” Apple Insider reported. He added that “if [Epic has] guessed wrong, and Federighi’s documents are not as relevant as Neuenschwander’s are, that hurts [Epic]. 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.”
Apple Insider reported that Apple sought to cap the duration of Cook’s testimony to four hours, but Hixson declined to do so until Epic’s lawyers have received various documents they have sought from Apple.
In a ruling dated Friday (Dec. 18), Hixson determined that Epic should be able to call 16 Apple witnesses, as opposed to the 10 that Apple had at one point suggested was reasonable.
The case is playing out in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.