It’s hard to believe it’s only been seven months since Apple booted Fortnite off the App Store and Epic Games sprung its antitrust trap, but you won’t have to wait much longer before the behind-the-scenes legal machinations give way to courtroom drama — and, it seems, until Apple and Epic’s top executives take the stand.
In a legal filing Friday evening, Apple revealed that CEO Tim Cook, SVP Craig Federighi, and former marketing chief and current App Store boss Phil Schiller intend to testify live and in person in the courtroom, among many other tentative witnesses. Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney and VP Mark Rein should be there as well, plus Facebook’s VP of gaming, a Microsoft VP of Xbox business development, and quite a number of directors on both sides.
Schiller is expected to spend the most time on the witness stand by far at an estimated 11 hours of examination and cross-examination, which makes sense — not only has he been in charge of the App Store that’s at the center of the case, but some of his emails and the emails of his subordinates have been under scrutiny — both for this case and in the big tech antitrust hearing last year, one which ended with the House Judiciary Committee concluding that “Apple exerts monopoly power in the mobile app store market.”
Apple says its executives “look forward to sharing with the court”:
Our senior executives look forward to sharing with the court the very positive impact the App Store has had on innovation, economies across the world and the customer experience over the last 12 years. We feel confident the case will prove that Epic purposefully breached its agreement solely to increase its revenues, which is what resulted in their removal from the App Store. By doing that, Epic circumvented the security features of the App Store in a way that would lead to reduced competition and put consumers’ privacy and data security at tremendous risk.
The trial should tentatively begin May 3rd, and is expected to run several weeks.
You can find the full list of tentative witnesses and those who’ll be tentatively deposed below.